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Tuesday, June 30, 2015

BOOK REVIEW- OUT OF CHARACTER


BOOK REVIEW- OUT OF CHARACTER-Stepping out of your comfort zone can be hazardous…
Denver, Colorado, ER doctor Jillian Rodgers has never done an impulsive thing in her life. But all that changes when she meets the man of her dreams on a ski vacation. Within twenty-four hours, they've spent a passionate night together and Jillian is convinced she's halfway in love. After all, she figures the worst that can happen is she'll go home with a broken heart…But the man pretending to be an ordinary guy is far from it. In fact, he shouldn't get anywhere near Jillian. Yet there's something about her he can't resist—and she's perfect for his cover. Besides, he's sure he isn't endangering her. Unfortunately, they're both wrong.
When someone uses their chairlift for target practice, Jillian ends up wounded—and her dream man promptly disappears. Within days, her car explodes. Just when things can't get any worse, she's kidnapped at gunpoint. Soon Jillian's running for her life, and the only man who can save her is the one who deserted her. Or is he just trying to protect her? And can she survive long enough to find out? AMAZON

It was quite the dance trying to figure out if Mark was a good guy or not.  There was even a time or two when I was thinking, "maybe he's not all that bad after all".  Then he would do something and I would "hate him" right along with Jillian.  Jillian was an interesting person; sweet while still sassy and at times surprisingly tough.
Plenty of action, romance, twists and turns.  The story really keeps you jumping.
Who do you trust though?
Does Mark like/love her or not?  It just seems like he goes hot and cold with her.
How did I like this story?  I REALLY liked this story.   It kept me involved and I felt like the story had great depth when it came to weaving the story.  It had me guessing most of the time when it came to where the danger really was coming from.  A really good quality for this type of book to have.
For me, the mystery/thriller book also has to have a good romance and I think it did all of that.

I received an advance copy of this book through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.  

BOOK- A DUKE BUT NO GENTLEMAN



BOOK REVIEW- A DUKE BUT NOT GENTLEMAN-In the last opulent days of the eighteenth century, a friendly wager turns into a heated feud that spans decades…and a love affair like none other. What does it take to tempt a lady… London, 1792. The Duke of Blackbern and the Marquess of Norgrave are boyhood friends who will still compete at anything. Racing, drinking, gambling, even seduction--until Lady Imogen Sunter crosses their path. Achingly beautiful, and innocent, she has no understanding of the jaded gentlemen who are courting her for favors--of how far they are willing to go to get what they want…In this game of seduce and destroy? Fighting for Imogen's affection should have been no more than their usual spirited rivalry. But when Blackbern discovers his feelings for Imogen have deepened, all bets are off. Norgrave, driven by his own demons, won't forsake his pride--and with one shocking act of betrayal that threatens Imogen and Blackbern's newfound desire, Norgrave will set the course for a generation of Regency bad boys who will go down in history as the Masters of Seduction...in A Duke But No Gentleman by Alexandra Hawkins. AMAZON

At times I found this to be kind of a dark story.   The friendship between  Blackbern (Tristan) and Norgrave was kind of twisted.   The two men fit the description of depraved for sure.  In the beginning of the story I was wondering how on earth this man, Blackbern, was ever going to be the "hero" of the story.  Things did begin to turn around but some of the situtations could be uncomfotabe for some readers.  The book did keep me interested though. 


I liked Lady Imogene, but "girl what were you thinking?".  She just blithely goes off, alone with a man she doesn't really know. She might have been adventurous and innocent but come on, that just wasn't done in the times she lived in.  No maid, nothing.   I was relieved that there were a few times that she was in the company of other people so that made it more believable.   Blackbern and Norgrave drew her away from people so many times, without much resistance on her part.  Even though she had been warned more than once about their reputations.  These were no boyish pranksters. There was a romance that develops in the story but for anyone looking for a clean read, this is not it.


One thing that was kind of funny was that Imogene's mother,  was often called The Dragon by Blackbern.  It also shows that their were lighter and some charming moments in the book as well.

I received a copy of this book via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.


Monday, June 29, 2015

BOOK REVIEW- SUNRISE RIDGE


BOOK REVIEW- SUNRISE RIDGE-Noah Brandt is a successful blacksmith and businessman in Splendor, Montana, with few ties to his past as an ex-Union Army major and sharpshooter. Quiet and hardworking, his biggest challenge is controlling his strong desire for a woman he believes is beyond his reach.  Abigail Tolbert is tired of being under her father’s thumb while at the same time, being pushed away by the one man she desires. Determined to build a new life outside the control of her wealthy father, she finds work and sets out to shape a life on her own terms. 
Noah has made too many mistakes with Abby to have any hope of getting her back. Even with the changes in her life, including the distance she’s built with her father, he can’t keep himself from believing he’ll never be good enough to claim her. 
Unexpected dangers, including a twist of fate for Abby, change both their lives, making the tentative steps they’ve taken to build a relationship a distant hope. As Noah battles his past as well as the threats to Abby, she fights for a future with the only man she will ever love.   AMAZON

Both Noah and Abby were strong, interesting people.  People who are too proud for their own good, especially Noah.  It was like one step forward with them and then four steps back.  He kisses her and then cold shoulders her; all for her own good of course.  She's wealthy and he's so far below her socially and financially; its agony for everyone. Even for those around them, friends, can see how crazy in love they are with each other.    The friends were also a good addition to the story as well,  A couple of times I had to do a quick review of a few people because  I started to get lost in the midst of them.   They did what they could to help the two love crossed people, but nothing much seemed to help for long.  Abby's father was wealthy, but he sure made some seriously bone headed decisions.  He wasn't much liked in town but Abby was and she finally finds a way off the ranch.  That doesn't mean all her problems are over  and her father still tries to bully her back home.  Abby finds she has strengths she didn't know she had as she begins to stand on her own.  She still loves and wants Noah through it all and she's used to finding a way to get what she wants.  It just doesn't seem to be working out all that well for her with him.  There was a good outlaws/rustlers story at work in the story as well.   And Abby ended up showing she had some "gumption" when she finds herself in a dangerous situation or two. 




"I was given a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review."

Mickey Freed: 'What Are Our 'Marching Orders' for this Season?'

Mickey Freed: 'What Are Our 'Marching Orders' for this Season?'

Mickey Freed: "What Are Our 'Marching Orders' for this Season?"

by Mickey Freed
Jun 29, 2015
Steve ShultzFrom the desk of Steve Shultz:
Mickey Freed is Sandie Freed's husband who writes for us regularly. In Mickey's latest article he starts out with this statement:
Have you ever been in a season when everything seems to go wrong? In fact, as a Believer, sometimes it seems as if everything just gets worse! ...I know it feels desolate and bare, but it is a season where our faith can actually become more solid in knowing God's ability (and desire) to intervene.
I think we've all felt this way a time or two! You may feel you are in a season of "barrenness" but God is actually working many things "behind the scenes" unaware to us... AND that's where FAITH and TRUST in Him are vital in these times!
This is a much needed word from Mickey to the Body. Let it minister right to your heart and receive the prayer which Mickey prayers over you toward the end.
Enjoy! And thanks for forwarding this to your friends! They cansubscribe just below...
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HR


Have You Been in Seasons of Barrenness?
Have you ever been in a season when everything seems to go wrong? In fact, as a Believer, sometimes it seems as if everything just gets worse! Yep! And then we start running! We run to our best friend. Then we run to our next best friend. And then we run to the pastor or counselor. We cry out (loudly!) for help, but we are finding no solutions.
The problem (and the void) that we are experiencing is not something we can put our finger on. It's bigger than what man can fix. The difficulty is not a natural issue; it's a season of barrenness which connects with unfruitfulness. I know it feels desolate and bare, but it is a season where our faith can actually become more solid in knowing God's ability (and desire) to intervene. (Photo via Pixabay)
Some that read this may be thinking or even confessing, "I have prayed, fasted, cried, and used every spiritual method that I know and God still isn't doing anything."
It's frustrating, isn't it? I know. I've been there also!
But if we try to get God to move a little faster, we turn our focus into performing for God, thinking that He is going to see our religious exercises and have pity on us. A season of barrenness is a season of unproductiveness and emptiness. This is not the season to perform, but a season to let God handle what we can't. It is highly possible that we are not doing anything wrong in particular, but let's face it: If we could have pulled this off, we wouldn't be crying out to God for help. It is then, during our most frustrated seasons, that we soon find out that being submitted to God and being completely in submission to God are entirely different.
Reader, keep reading. You're going to really embrace this revelation.
A Spiritual Disconnect?
We can be submitted to what is referred to as a "religious belief system" and yet not be submitted to God.
How can these things be? Think about this a minute.
It's possible that even though our hearts long for His truth and presence, we still could be led astray by a false religious system. Yes! Even in what is often deemed "Christianity"! We see it on the news and read it in the papers almost on a consistent basis. A minister changes the Scripture from "the" truth to "a truth" and suddenly there is a spiritual disconnect.
Jesus was very clear when He said that "I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me,"(John 14:6). Not being submitted to the Word is not being submitted to Christ. Jesus never said that I am "a" way. He never spoke of "a" life. And, definitely not just any father, but "the Father." When we are in full agreement with the Word of God, our marching orders are consistent and effective.(Photo by Robert Bartow "The Open Door" via elijahshopper.com)
Let me clarify my statement a bit further. Many who minister the Gospel, regardless of their positional authority (meaning someone in oversight), could experience a barrenness of spiritual disconnect, although barrenness is not solely confined to those in ministry. I believe that anyone who ministers the Gospel to others is considered to be a minister. Isn't it amazing that Jesus picked business people to start His ministry? So, a spiritual disconnect producing barrenness can affect ministers in the marketplace as well.
Your Marching Orders
Romans 8:28 says that we "know" that "everything" will work together for good to them that love God and those who are the called according to His purpose. Notice that we are "the called" for "His purpose." Notice that it is not that "we think we know" that all things will work together for our good, but it is based upon relationship with God through faith that we know for sure that our future will work the way the Father has it planned. Even though we are sure to make mistakes, Jesus' plan is still very much in existence and many of our marching orders have yet to be fulfilled.
Listen, if you are in a season that is preventing you from marching forward, then please give yourself some grace. In my recent book, Between Spiritual Seasons, I write about being empowered to shift from one spiritual season to another. For now, please know this: Just because you are not marching does not mean that you do not have an assignment to fulfill.
Sometimes we think that we accepted Christ so that we could become a better person when, in all actuality, it was He who chose us. He is waiting for us to be properly aligned with His plan so that we can begin to march forward! Some think that we get to choose our own mission, when in reality God already had the mission – He was just waiting for us to line up.
ElijahList Prophetic Resources
You Were Chosen Before the Foundation of the World
Since we were chosen before the foundation of the world (see Ephesians 1:4), according to His purpose, we have a specific role to establish Heaven on Earth. Everything with which we are challenged while on earth is to prepare us for what He has in store for us. And, yes, I'm referring to your marching orders, which include your purpose and destiny even when nothing seems to be moving forward.
Be encouraged, Dear Ones, and know that you are called and appointed to run with your assignment during this season. Before the foundations of the world, God placed this passion within you. It's your passion. Not someone else's.
I am not talking about being unsubmitted during this season. Catch this! One of the things that help a person through frustrated seasons of feeling dry and lonely is accountability. It's always the enemy's plan to separate and divide. The enemy knows the strength of two or more. So, especially during times of barrenness, stay connected.(Photo via Pixabay)
When we are weak, He is strong. Remember, it is not by our power or strength, but by His Spirit. Anytime the enemy is fighting hard against us, we must read his mail backwards. Which reminds me of my wife's book, "Silencing the Accuser" by Dr. Sandie Freed. She exposes the eight lies that the enemy uses to take away our marching orders. This is a season to stay focused, not distracted by the enemy.
At This Level of Ministry
As I began to write this article, I sensed the Lord said that at this level of ministry the Body of Christ will have to recognize that this is not about being devoted to religion, but being devoted to our individual assignment of Christ. Even though we function as a Body, "as one," we have individual assignments. He knows that if we allow our past to predict our future, we will continue to come short of His glory. But remember this! We are not tested according to our experiences. We are tested according to our "potential" that the Lord has placed in us. It is the potential that is within that is the big threat to the wicked one. As we march forward with our assignments, it will take us all working together even though we are all at different spiritual levels.
It takes all the pieces of the puzzle to complete the puzzle. If there is one piece that is missing, it becomes an incomplete puzzle. No matter how beautiful the puzzle may be designed to be, if there is one piece missing, it stays unfinished. If we stay separated and individualized, even though we are teaching the same Christ Jesus, we become separated because we have left out others that don't traditionally function the way we were taught.
I believe that we have come a long way from pure traditionalism, but we have such a long way to go towards unity. Our marching orders during this season and at this level of ministry have nothing to do with comparing denominations or the number of years in Bible college. It has absolutely nothing to do with being religious, but has everything to do with representing (re-pre-senting) Christ on earth as it is in Heaven. I know that some will contend and say that we just haven't been taught to do it that way. We shouldn't allow a doctrinal mindset to stop us from joining with the whole Body of Christ for a common purpose. It's about the Kingdom and not you and I. (Photo via Pixabay)
You and I both know that Jesus can be taught from the same Bible many different ways based upon the numerous ways to demonstrate the goodness and mercy of God. For example, it is like in kindergarten, when those of us of my generation were all taught to color within the lines of our coloring books. Our minds were submitted to our teacher so that we could get a passing grade on our coloring, but God placed huge standards and dreams in our anointed minds. I also have to ask, why is it that we who learned to color in the lines successfully often spend the rest of our lives being told to get out of the box if we want to be successful?
Now, let me transfer this simple concept to the Church as we know it today. It is like the disciples when they were out ministering and they came upon some that they could not heal. They came back to Jesus and asked a very good question. "Master! It worked on everyone else, but on this one it didn't. WHY?" Jesus had to tell them to get outside the lines because this type of sickness requires prayer and fasting on your part instead of actions on their part. It was a new level of ministry.
Don't Stop Now!
Let me bring in a final point that can affect our focus on our marching orders. A hurt or spiritual wound can sometimes cause a Believer to take a side street. When we are in a "quitting season," we want to give up regardless of the cost.Don't stop marching! I promise that God will come through for you. Your marching orders have not been cancelled. Many Believers lose vision during times of desperation. I have taught on regaining vision for years, and if you have lost vision, I believe this book can empower you.
Let me say again that when we are challenged the greatest, that is when we grow spiritually the most. Marching uphill is always harder than marching downhill. In my book, Regaining Vision, I discuss the tragic effects of those who lose hope and vision, which causes us all to stop marching.
Proverbs 29:18 says that we simply cannot go forward successfully without a vision. Anytime that there is loss of vision, there is doubt and unbelief. Anytime there is rejection, there is shame. Anytime an opportunity does not spiritually line up with the peace of God, it is possible that it is not you but that there is something wrong with the opportunity. Many times we want to quit or stop because we can't fix something that needs to be fixed. Don't stop marching. You may only need to change your method. Your new level of ministry is upon you. Your marching orders will take you through to the other side. (Photo via Pixabay)
May the Lord richly bless you and keep you. Be encouraged!
Let me pray for you:
Father, I pray a blessing over every reader. I speak hope and success to Your children of faith. Lord, it is You whom we serve with our gifts and talents. Lord, bless Your servants and give them strength to fulfill purpose and commission. I speak NO MORE DELAY over them concerning their breakthrough. Whatever concerns Your sons and daughters concerns You. Holy Spirit, I ask that You bring comfort to those who are in turmoil and are burned out and those that have lost vision. You are truly the Comforter. I pray that this season of barrenness stops immediately and their vision is revitalized and refreshed going into this new level. We thank You and trust You. Amen.
Apostle Mickey Freed
Lifegate Church International

Email: zionministries1@sbcglobal.net
Website: lifegatechurch.org
Apostle Mickey Freed is Senior Pastor of Lifegate Church International and has been an ordained minister with Christian International for over twenty-six years. Mickey and his wife Dr. Sandie Freed have just recently planted Lifegate Church International in the Dallas / Ft. Worth area. They also were successful in the marketplace as a custom home builder for over thirty years. Mickey presently serves on Dr. Bill Hamon's Board of Governors. Mickey has traveled nationally and internationally ministering the Word of God. He brings stability to an environment of change, and works with pastors and leaders to establish a solid foundation for Church growth. Apostle Mickey's teaching on "Church growth," along with his new teaching manual, is equipping Church leaders to build their Church in the 21st century.
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Book Review- Enemy Within

 
When Emma Cartwright gets some very (very) bad health news, she handles it in just about the last way that anybody who knows her would expect. Namely, she heads out alone to a bar on Friday night, intent on having her first-ever one-night-stand. A single night of escape with a scorching guy, and then she’ll focus on her treatment and recovery. After all, what’s one night, really?  Ever since coming back from Afghanistan two years ago, Dean Jessop’s life is all about ‘just one night’. No commitment; nothing permanent; nothing long-term. He meets Emma and one night of hot sex later, she sneaks out of Dean’s place while he sleeps – and they both think that’s it. Neither expects to see the other ever again. 
A month later, a chance encounter brings them back in to each other’s lives. They strike an agreement which includes: casual sex only, nothing too personal, and they can end it anytime with a single word. What Emma and Dean don’t count on is developing strong and real feelings for each other, despite Emma hiding her disease and Dean running from his guilt. When Dean finally tells Emma what happened in Afghanistan, she wonders if she can confess her own dark secret. But can she really expect him to forgive her for hiding her illness from him? If she tells him the truth, will he be there for her through it all? And can she help him make peace with his own demons?   Amazon

Wow, this book had some surprises.  It was unexpectedly good.  Yes, there is plenty of sex and some offensive language.  But there is also a surprisingly sweet romance hidden in the story.  It just kind of drew me in.   I got to really like both Emma and Dean, all on their own as well as together.   As I was reading and saw how casual Emma and Dean kept it, I wondered how in the world it would ever be  more.  I mean they didn't even know each other's last names or much personal information at all.  I could hardly wait to see how the author was going to make things collide head on.  Both Dean and Emma had their own circle of friends who had their back.  And boy, were they going to need them.  It made me want to read some more books with those friends as the main characters.  There was a bonus peek at "Outside Enemy" which got my attention because it had to do with Dallas and Olivia in it.  Two people who I definitely wanted to follow up on.

I

DIY Graphic Tee (Super Simple)

Sunday, June 28, 2015

BOOK REVIEW-Christmas Kisses


Christmas Kisses
BOOK REVIEW-Christmas Kisses-Charles, the Earl of Stratton, has lived for eleven years with guilt and battle fatigue. The horror of war is a constant in his life. He has tried to silence his demons, but nothing works until he returns home for the holidays. Helen lost both of the men she loved to the war. Her brother, Jack, who died on the battlefield, and Charles, who avoids her. Her love for Charles has never died, but when he finally comes home, it’s to introduce his fiancée to his family. 
Will the Christmas season give them a second chance at happiness? Or will honor demand they separate forever? Christmas Kisses is a Novella of 20,000 words.   AMAZON

A job well done on a story in such a short form.  It was charming but also had all of the angst and pain of war memories that Charles experienced.   His fiancee was some piece of work even before Charles knew she had secrets.  I think because of his guilt and feelings of duty she was what he thought he deserved.  Yes, she was beautiful on the outside but not so much on the inside.  I enjoyed the book and also the re-awakening that Charles began to come through.  Helen was one tender but strong woman, who remained loving even through the disappointments of life.  Helen helped by raising her sisters and seeing them married while she herself remained single.  She remained true to her heart's desire of not marrying for anything less than love. 
The information on this book states that it is a Sensual Regancy novella, so of course there will be some (mild) heat in the story. 




"I was given a free copy of this  book in exchange for an honest review."

What Are You Searching For?

BOOK REVIEW- COP ON HER DOORSTEP


BOOK REVIEW- COP ON HER DOORSTEP-In the six years since her husband was killed by S.W.A.T., Carrie Padilla has spent long hours at work, rebuilding a life for herself and her son. The little time she has at home is spent keeping her eight-year-old son out of trouble, but he is all too eager to try to be the man in the house. When a handsome cop shows up on her doorstep, her errant son in tow, Carrie's heart stutters. The sexy Italian cop sets off all kinds of bells in her system, and she knows there's only one thing she can do to save what is left of her family, her husband’s memory, and her heart...avoid her new neighbor at all costs. S.W.A.T. officer Jake Stafani already lost one little boy to gang violence, the dead boy’s older brother is missing, and Jake's not about to let the same thing happen to a neighbor's son. He drags the youngster home only to discover much more than a passing interest in the boy's beautiful, but wary, mother. Forced to take a leave of absence after a bust goes awry, Jake can think of nothing better to occupy his time than to keep Carrie and her son safe, and locate the missing teen who holds the key to taking the gang off the streets, once and for all.  
But Jake doesn’t count on his stubborn, intriguing neighbor distracting him from his job, or the passion that flares between them. He doesn’t expect her amazing son to steal a piece of his heart. Jake is ready to risk everything for Carrie, body and soul. But it’s not all up to him. If their new love is to survive, Carrie will need to be strong enough to see the man's beating heart behind the badge, to look beyond the pain of her past, and decide that loving again is worth the risk. 
(Stand Alone Novel)   AMAZON

I liked this story although I can say that there weren't a whole lot of surprises to it.  I liked both of the main characters. I also found it to be a pretty realistic story; something that many people could be dealing with.  The romance was good; which there was plenty of.  Jake was chasing and Carrie was running.  I guess in simpler phrases I could say: " See Jake chase.  See Carrie run.  See Carrie let Jake catch her (against her better judgement).  See Carrie run Again!."  The push-pull of their relationship was well done but in the beginning I really felt kind of sorry for Jake.  Just about time things really started to heat up physically all of a sudden Carrie hit the brakes.  Hard.  You could almost think of her as a tease, except you know better.  She's fighting a whole boat load of memories and fears.  Her son, Eric was woven into the story very nicely as well.  Even though Eric was just a kid, he did end up speaking  a pearl of wisdom to  his mother that helped to begin things to turn around.  Out of the mouth of babes!  


"I was given a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review."


God Language (p)


Allison Bown is the director of The Warrior Class, a group of people dedicated to making BRILLIANT things happen around the world. If you want to experience more of Allison's awesome work, check out this article she wrote a few days ago at the In Focus blog: https://infocuswithteambrilliant.wordpress.com/2015/05/05/speaking-the-same-language/    


Receiving what comes down (p)

Pressure of Peace


"I like the pressure of peace. 
I like the pressure of being happy.
 I like the fact that if I practice patience, the enemy comes under pressure. 
That's particularly thrilling! 
I like this key that the joy of the Lord is abundantly more powerful 
than any stress or pressure."

From THE OVERCOMING LIFE 1: UNDERMINING THE ENEMY   GRAHAM COOKE


Brighter Future=Key


Doug Addison- Facebook

Saturday, June 27, 2015

BOOK REVIEW- THE TROUBLE WITH BODYGUARDS

 
BOOK REVIEW- THE TROUBLE WITH BODYGUARDS- Alex Grimes had grown up the only child of one of the wealthiest families in Virginia, but she had rebelled against the idea of letting that define who she was as a person. 
Seeking to make something beautiful, something that could shock the world into seeing the true pain of reality, Alex had started a career as a photographer, and had gained a serious following. 
But not all types of fame are welcome. Sometimes being noticed is not ideal. When Alex began receiving gifts from a stranger, the gifts strange in themselves, it worried her father to the point that he wanted to hire her a bodyguard to protect her. 
Alex, headstrong, stubborn woman that she is, finds herself subject to her father's whims, stuck with Rick Andrews, who makes her life much, much more interesting, and frustrating.  AMAZON

Whoa.  What just happened?  
Kristina Blake.  What did you just do?  I just finished reading your book and wow what a twist.  Major!  Now I usually don't like cliffhangers but you got me.   There were a few times when I was kind of confused on a few things. But now that I "think" I have it figured out, I just have to know. I liked the people in the story and I just need to know what happens next.  Good story writing.  So,it looks like I will be getting the 2nd story in this series.