Saturday, March 29, 2014

STAR CARTOGRAPHER by Zach Alexander

Galacia, a planet in the galaxy, has exiled a seven-member cartographer team for treason. They are forced to live on a barren Earth with their immediate families, friends of the elite team, and anyone who has a bloodline connection. Ancient Earth is the prison where people are sent for their crimes against Galacia. They soon form a new city among themselves. Soon after, there is dissention in the ranks. Most of the original seven-members break away to create their cities and laws in another section of the global prison.

One hundred years later the Galacian Council still feels threaten. The Council sends a vessel of elite combat team to Earth. They have orders to annihilate any remaining descendants with the bloodline of the original cartographer team. They succeed in killing over 84,000 people.

Fast forward to England, July 1964. James Wood is returning home from Berwick Hills Boarding School for Boys. While traveling, he meets Mr. Murphy. James feels there is something strange about him, but after holding conversation, he becomes comfortable. Arriving in Mexico City to meet his father at an excavation site, he participates in the dig and finds a rare coin. It is from the first settlers of the original Aztecs. James does not know the history of the coin he found. When the founded tombs are blasted, James’ father is killed. James leaves the site with his father’s belongings to his Uncle Ben’s home in Whetstone Hay. Uncle Ben has built a ‘moon flyer’ in his backyard. He hopes one day that it will take him to moon. That one day comes sooner than he or James thinks. That goes as well as for them and James father’s friend, Simbanda.

Zach Alexander’s science fiction novel is an easy read. The story line is good but I felt there was too much description. The outer space adventure could have been edited a little. I recommend this book to the avid science fiction reader.

I received this book free from the author, Zach Alexander, for an unbiased review. 
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New date!:Thursday, May 1, 2014 - 3:30 PM (PDT) LOVE BOOKS' Live Internet Radio - BAKER DAN, Author of Beating Arthritis:Alternative Cooking




Baker Dan (Dan Shaham, Ph.D.) is a Manhattan-based chef who specializes in Alternative Cooking & Baking.  Eighteen years ago, in his early forties, he was diagnosed with Palindromic Rheumatoid Arthritis (PRA).  Baker Dan and his wife Tal were living on Central Park West in Manhattan in a well-lighted one-bedroom apartment.  

His first signs of PRA were redness on the side of my right index finger at the middle joint.  At first he ignored the redness, although it was a bit red and warm, but then the joint began to swell, until eventually the finger had nearly doubled in size and was very painful.  

Baker Dan began a lengthy medical odyssey, going to a variety of Western, Chinese, and Alternative doctors, and eventually changed his diet. People often ask Baker Dan how he has dealt with PRA, and in his book, Beating Arthritis: Alternative Cooking, he explains his method of reducing and preventing inflammation through self-study and medically-supervised diet-change.  

The book was written from a patient’s point of view, not from a medical one, and offers many recipes to help people eat healthy and feel better.  The recipes are gluten-free, lactose-free, with no added sugar or fat, and include detailed nutrition facts.

Baker Dan formed Baker Dan LLC in 2006, starting with specialty cookies.  He lives with his family in Manhattan and Warrensburg, NY. 

Contact Information: Dan Shaham, Ph.D. (Baker Dan) - Baker Dan, LLC.
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Wednesday, March 26, 2014

THE KRISTA & BECCA RITCHIE INTERVIEW!



Whose idea was it to start writing novels? What peaked your interest?
  
Becca- I started writing when I was 12. I think we both read so many books that our own imaginations sparked, and we had stories in our heads that needed to get on paper. So I started jotting them down until a whole messy book was the end product. My first books weren’t very good, and I’d have to say the best things we’ve ever written have been things we’ve worked on together.
  
KristaBecca started writing before me. My first books were more like “middle” of books. I never liked to write the beginnings or the ends. Like Becca, I began writing because I had stories in my head and it felt like they needed to be written down. Plus, it was so much more fun having someone like Becca to swap stories with.

Who are your favorite authors? Did they have an influence on the genre you chose? If not, how did you choose?

Becca- This is so hard for me. I love so many different authors for so many different reasons. Growing up, I was a huge Meg Cabot fan. She’s a middle grade / young adult author who weaves some beautiful and witty contemporary tales. As I got older, I was really enamored with the A-List series because—hello, it starts out with a girl joining the mile high club. I loved that the book took risks, even though it was meant for a younger audience. And it was like crack reading that series. I can’t say any certain author has had an influence in the genre. We just love romance and we just graduated from college, so we put together something we love with something we know. Poof, we have New Adult ;)

Krista I love Stephanie Perkins. I think she knows how to write romance and comedy so well. I always aspired to be able to have that sort of witty dialogue that never crosses the line into cheesy. I was also a huge Meg Cabot growing up. Her books are just so feel-good that it’s hard not to fall for them

Do you find writing a challenge? Do you ever agree to disagree?

Becca- It can definitely be a challenge when something isn’t working within the book. Krista and I can tell when the plot is off or something is missing. And it just takes some time to really find the solution to what’s wrong. We do occasionally disagree, but we always compromise in the end.

Krista- I’d love to admit that writing is super easy and we can crank out a perfect book in a couple weeks, but the truth is that every book is a challenge. We revise like crazy and we fight to get the best story out of our plot and characters. But the challenge is what makes it so much fun. 

Do you see writing as a short or long term career? If short term, what will replace it?

Becca- Long term! This is our passion and what we love, so writing forever would be a dream.

Krista- Definitely long term. It’s kind of surreal being able to do this full-time right now. It’s always been a dream of ours. 

Do you enjoy attending your book events? Does it ever become overwhelming?

Becca-  Our first signing as authors is in August in our hometown of Atlanta, so we’re super excited about that. We’ve been to signings and book fests before, but never as authors, always as readers. It’ll probably really overwhelming initially, but we’re looking forward to it.

Krista-  Like Becca said, the only book events we’ve attended were as readers. It’s going to be a whole different experience attending as authors. I still feel like we should be on the other side of the table, so again, it’s going to be a little surreal. I may have to pinch myself (or Becca) a few times. 

Are any of your novels based on events in your life, or someone you know?

Becca-  We incorporate small things from our life in ever book. For instance in Hothouse Flower, some of the main characters go to Paris. We’ve been to Paris—for about three days total—and we were able to add an event there within the book. I’m being super vague, but Hothouse hasn’t released yet.

Krista- Many of the situations are related to our personal experiences. We’ve been to Cancun and to a night club almost like the same one our characters go to in Addicted for Now. In Addicted to You, Lily gets caught watching porn in class. One of my greatest fears in college was to have some porn ad or pop-up appear on my computer during class. It’s little things like that that we try and weave into the books.

Who is your publishing company? Who creates your cover art?

Becca-  The Addicted series is self-published, so we have total creative control, which is really nice. Krista designed the covers of Hothouse Flower, Kiss the Sky, and Ricochet. Addicted to You and Addicted for Now were designed by Icey Designs.

Krista- Love Icey Designs! She creates some of the prettiest blog designs too.

 What are your current and upcoming projects?

Krista- We’re currently working on Thrive (Addicted #2.5) and Addicted After All (Addicted #3), the last two books in Lily & Lo’s POV in the Addicted series. And we’re also finishing up a couple New Adult stand-alone novels that aren’t part of the series.

Becca-  Upcoming, we have another New Adult series called the “Like Us” series. We’re going to talk more about it in April, but Krista and I are really excited about it. 

From all your novels written, which is your favorite? Why?

Becca- This is really hard! It’s like picking your favorite pet or child. I love them all for completely different reasons. But I’m going to say Addicted to You is my favorite for the pure fact that it started this journey for us. Without that book, none of the others would exist :)

Krista- I’d probably choose Addicted to You for the same reasons. But Kiss the Sky has a special place in my heart too. It was the most challenging book we’ve ever written (with the most revisions and scraped drafts). We really pushed ourselves with Kiss the Sky, and I think it shows in the finished product.

Would you like to give a ‘shout out’ to your fan base?

Becca- We have some of the most amazing fans! Without which, there’s no way we’d be able to extend the series and keep it going. We can’t thank you all enough for reading and reaching out to us on social media. We LOVE talking to you!

Krista- I hope you all know how special you are to us! We wouldn’t be able to do what we love and continue doing it if it wasn’t for all of you. Your support and readership is amazing and more than we could have ever dreamed of. We’re so lucky to be at this point in our writing careers, and we wouldn’t have made it here without any of you. ((HUGS))

Where can your fans reach out to you?

Website -  httritchie.com/p://kb         
                                            







Pinterest – http://www.pinterest.com/kbmritchie/

Tumblr – http://kbmritchie.tumblr.com/

I would like to thank Krista Ritchie and Becca Ritchie for stopping by my blog on their  "Hothouse Flower"   tour!























Tuesday, March 25, 2014

I SEE YOU MADE AN EFFORT by Annabelle Gurwitch

Annabelle Gurwitch discusses everything from her computer crashing to purchasing cream for a dry vagina. In addition, this is only within the first two chapters.

Ms. Gurwitch shares her experiences being forty-nine going on fifty and all the changing life cycles that comes with it. She speaks about having hot flashes at the most inopportune time. With each event, she adds humor that will make you laugh aloud.

The ways she describes certain thoughts, “If I spend any more money today, it will threaten my Tampax budget.” As she describes her neighbors, “On the other side of our home is Tobacco Road. The Joad family’s home is sliding into disrepair.”

Annabelle Gurwitch speaks in a serious tone when explaining her feelings about her friend. Robin passed away from cancer. During her last days, Annabelle and four friends stayed at Robin’s home.

She further discusses being diagnosed with arthritis. At the beginning of this chapter, she writes, “Dear God, forgive me Father, for I have Googled. I have Googled the Mayo Clinic, WebMD, and even Yahoo! Answers.” This is her adventure Googling her health problem: osteoarthritis in the neck.

The book ends with “The Four A.M. Club”, women and their thoughts in the early morning hours.

Annabelle Gurwitch is the former co-host of ‘Dinner & a Movie.’ This book chronicles her life by way of different events that she has experienced. By not only being a woman going on fifty, but a woman going on fifty that is also a mother, wife, and friend. I recommend this book to all women, not just those forty-nine going on fifty. See if you can relate to some of her adventures, I did.


I received this book free from Penguin Group –Blue Rider Press through the Net Galley Book Reviewer Program.


Monday, March 24, 2014

LUST, MONEY & MURDER by Mike Wells

Patrick Brogan, a construction worker, is married to Kate and have a daughter, Elaine. Patrick adores his little angel until at the age of seven, Patrick catches Elaine and her friend smoking. He decides to send her to a boarding school to get her out of their bad neighborhood.

Elaine at the age of 16, while at the boarding school decides she wants to join a modeling agency. After paying over two thousand dollars for modeling courses, she still has not been called for a job. Elaine confronts the owner, Ronald Eskew, and he promptly refunds her money. Elaine unknowingly, gives counterfeit money to her father Patrick, and he deposits it into the bank. After he is arrested for a felony, he commits suicide in jail. Elaine vows revenge on Ronald Eskew for her father’s death.

As part of her plan, Elaine studies to become a Secret Service Agent to catch Ronald Eskew. Not only does she discover information on Eskew, she is assigned to an office in Bulgaria. There she meets Nick LaGrange, her boss, to whom she is attracted. Once they become more than friends, she is contacted by the Washington, D.C. office for a special assignment. They want her skilled detection eyes for a counterfeit bills operation. With this prize assignment thrown in her direction, Elaine’s world is turned upside down when she learns the reason for this offer. THE END……..of Book 1.

Mike Wells has written a very exciting novel that is “unputdownable.” I literally had to force myself to stop reading in order to eat. The characters are likeable, the story line moves fast, and is an easy read. I will definitely read the second and third books of this series. I recommend this series set to anyone who likes intrigue, money, and love.

WHO MADE THE CUT?



MIKE WELLS INTERVIEW

How long have you been writing? How many novels have you written?

I've been writing all my life but didn't write my first full-length novel until I was 36.  Since then I've written over 25 novels, some are still unpublished, a few are half-finished.

What piqued your interest to start writing?  

I'm not sure, it just seems like I had some sort of creative energy or voice inside that needs to come out, to be expressed.  I write every day (working day).  It's become a deeply ingrained habit.  If I don't do it, I feel that something is missing in my life.  Or that I might just go crazy!

Who are your favorite authors? Did they have an influence on the genre you chose? If not, how did you choose?

A lot of different authors have inspired me and I've learned a lot from studying their writing in great detail.  A few are Rod Serling, Thomas Hardy, Stephen King, David Mamet, and Sidney Sheldon.  You'll notice that I've named a few authors who are primarily screenwriters.  With these I've studied their dialogue and also their storytelling skills.  Watching movies is a good way to study story structure because you see the whole story much faster than with a book (90 or 120 minutes).   I believe new writers should dedicate far more time understanding story structure and how to tell a good story rather than focusing so much on words and description.  Yes, words are important, and finding just the right way to say something is crucial, but don't forget to tell a great story, too!

 Do you find writing a challenge? Why or Why not?

Of course I find writing a challenge, the biggest challenge in my life!  Why?  Because fiction writing is one of those things you never perfect, you are always improving, learning, getting better.  I try to make every new book I write "better" in some way than all the previous ones.  I don't look much at what my competitors are doing--I try to compete only with myself.

Are any of your novels based on events in your life, or someone you know?

Yes I would say that most of my novels are based on things that have happened to me in real life, some more than others.  For example The Wrong Side of the Tracks, a coming of age story, is very much based on my real life.  Other books have bits and pieces of my real life in them, often greatly exaggerated and changed to be more dramatic and fit the particular story I want to tell.

Do your book events, such as book signings/readings ever become overwhelming?

Not really, as I purposefully control myself so as not to become a one-dimensional workaholic. Anyway, I'm an ebook-only author now and mostly just do online events.  I try to limit those to a minimum so that I can keep writing, which is what my readers want most--more books.  I do spend a lot of time communicating directly with readers, usually on Facebook and Twitter.  In general, I treat my writing as a 40 hour per week job.  I write or do marketing 8 hours per day M-F, do a little work on Saturday morning (this interview, for example), and then have the rest of my time free to rest and relax and enjoy life.  I do think a lot about my stories at night and on weekends, even dream about them, but I limit my actual work time to a normal workweek, as I've said.  To write well requires not only intense work but rest and rejuvenation to fill the creative reservoir again. 
  
Who is your publishing company? Who creates your cover art?

I am my own publishing company and I create all my own cover art and everything else associated with my books.  I view a book as one creative unit, which includes not only the text of the story but also the book title, cover art, story description, marketing blurbs, Letter to My Readers--everything.  It makes one, singular impression on the reader.  This is the main reason I don't traditionally publish books--you can't control any of that, the publisher does.  And no publisher cares about your book even 1/100th about your book as you do.  It's your "baby."  Nobody except you is going to wrack their brains to make your entire book package as perfect as possible. This is the reason I self-publish.

The other reason I self-publish is that I can write whatever I want, whenever I want, however I want.  I have no pressure from a profit-driven bureaucracy telling me that I have to write sequels that I don't want to write, or that I have to use a pen name if I want to write a book in a different genre, those kinds of pressures.  Self-publishing gives you total freedom and total control.  The negative is that you don't have the stamp of "approval" from the establishment, but that's okay with me, I've always been a rebel!

What are your current and upcoming projects?

At the moment I'm writing a sequel, of sorts, to Lust, Money & Murder.  The reason I say "of sorts" is that it's an unusual sequel, with the first part of the book focusing on the villain's life and recovery from his disaster in the last book, rather than just having the hero from the first book "do it again," the way most sequels are written.  Couldn't do this if I were traditionally published.

I'm also involved in the process of producing all my books in audio format.  So far three are done and about five more are in the pipeline.  Fortunately I've been able to find top notch professional narrators so it does not require that much of my time, just giving them a little guidance.
  
From all your novels written, which is your favorite? Why?

That's like asking me which is my favorite child.  Can't answer it, I love them all for different reasons.

 What do you do when youre not writing? Do you have a hobby?

I have a few hobbies, playing guitar, for example, but the biggest one is nature and fitness.  I do some kind of outdoor exercise every day, for 2 hours or so in the early afternoon, to break up my writing schedule.  That's one of the reasons I'm living in Cyprus now, the year-round good weather.  I either ride my bike, run, or take a long hike, and usually at the end I go for a swim in the sea.  Writing is a very sedentary activity and I think it's important to keep your body in good shape--helps clear the  mental cobwebs.  I have a lot of my best creative ideas while I'm outside exercising and not really thinking about my work, they just pop into my head. 

Would you like to say a few words to your fan base?

Yes--THANK YOU SO MUCH for reading my books and supporting my writing, for all your wonderful feedback, reviews, and everything else you do for me.  You are the primary reason I write every day.  Without you, there would be little point in any of it.

Where may your fans contact you?
 Web Site www.mikewellsbooks.com
Goodreads - https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/130859.Mike_Well


I would like to say Thank You! Mike Wells for taking the time for this great interview!


Friday, March 21, 2014

SONGS THAT I WHISPER by Regina Puckett

Seth Black and Suzette Warren have something in common. They like each other, but neither wants to be the aggressor. Both have some rough spots in their past, and refuse to go backwards. For Seth, he had a famous father whose footsteps he is following, minus the alcohol and drugs. For Suzette, she has been in enough failed relationships.

Seth, a country singer, has asked Suzette, an artist and gallery owner, to paint his portrait for an upcoming album. Suzette agrees and goes with Seth on a two-week tour, to gather more information about him. They form a friendship that quickly becomes more.

Seth begins receiving notes that indicate he has a brother. The last note he receives asks him for a meeting. Suzette begs him not to go alone, but he does. Seth is attacked and the police question him about the meeting. No one believes he was in a parking garage to meet his so-called brother, but rather believing he was there to buy drugs.

Seth not wanting Suzette to be harmed in any way stops their relationship dead in their tracks. Seth and the police want to know the reason for the attack. Why would someone claiming to be his brother want to hurt Seth? They find the attacker, and you will not believe whom it turns out to be.


Regina Puckett has written a wonderful love story that is not a bed of roses. Seth and Suzette both have issues that hold them back from loving anyone openly. I would have liked to see how their relationship fully developed. Maybe there will be a sequel, who knows. I recommend this novel to those who like short novels about love stories.

KRISTA & BECCA RITCHIE BLOG TOUR

Hothouse Flower Promo Tour

GENERAL INFORMATION

Title: Hothouse Flower
Author: Krista & Becca Ritchie
Series: Calloway Sisters #2 (Spin-Off of the Addicted series)
Pub Date: March 28th, 2014

Amazon: Link not available until March. 28th

SUMMARY

Ryke Meadows, meet Daisy Calloway ... she’s all grown up. 

Twenty-five-year-old Ryke Meadows knows he’s hard to love. With a billion-dollar inheritance, a track-star resume, and an alpha-male personality—he redefines the term likable asshole. But he’s not living to make friends. Or enemies. He just wants to free climb three of the toughest mountains in Yosemite without drama or interruption.

And then he receives a distressed call from a girl in Paris—a girl that he has never been allowed to have.

Daisy Calloway is eighteen. Finally. With her newfound independence, she can say goodbye to her overbearing mother and continue her modeling career. Next stop, Paris. Fashion Week begins with a bang, and Daisy uncovers the ugly reality of the industry. She wants to prove to her family that she can live on her own, but when everything spirals out of control, she turns to Ryke to keep her secrets. 


As Daisy struggles to make sense of this new world and her freedom, she pushes the limits and fearlessly rides the edge. Ryke knows there’s deep hurt beneath every impulsive action. He must keep up with Daisy, and if he lets her go, her favorite motto—“live as if you’ll die today”—may just come true.


New Adult Romance: recommended for readers 18+ for mature content  

***Authors' Note***

Hothouse Flower is a spin-off of the Addicted series. 
Kiss the Sky is required before reading, and we strongly recommend reading the Addicted series before this spin-off. 


Addicted Series Recommended Reading Order

Addicted to You (Addicted #1)

Ricochet (Addicted #1.5) 

Addicted for Now (Addicted #2)
Kiss the Sky (Spin-Off)(Calloway Sisters #1)
Hothouse Flower (Spin-Off)(Calloway Sisters #2)
Thrive (Addicted #2.5)
Addicted After All (Addicted #3)






AUTHOR BIOS
Krista & Becca Ritchie write New Adult books that make you cringe, 
gasp, and go ooh-la-la. (If you do that sort of thing.) They are currently 
working on the spin-offs and final books in the Addicted series. Connect 
with them on twitter and their website: kbritchie.com




AUTHOR LINKS

  Enter to Win:  $15 Amazon Gift Card & 3 Kindle Ebooks of Hothouse Flower  
 **open internationally**






Thank you so much for being on the Hothouse Flower Promo Tour! We couldn’t do this without the support of amazing bloggers like you 

FACEBOOK CHAT PARTY with MIKE WELLS!


Thursday, March 20, 2014

HOW TO STAY SANE IN A CRAZY WORLD by Sophia Stuart

A “modern book of hours” is the name Sophia Stuart uses for her book of comfort excerpt quotes. There are three cleverly named section: morning, afternoon, and evening.

Sophia decided to write this modern day book of hours after being diagnosed with throat cancer. She had to take a month from work for recovery. What would be a greater recovery tool for herself and others. And did I mention the photographs?

The first section, ‘morning – inspiration’, have one-liner words of motivation. Section two, ‘afternoon – perspiration’, shares ten on-the-go activity tips. In section three, ‘evening – exhalation’, you learn to make a Kindness Kit for yourself, the benefits of drinking tea, watching movies on your laptop, and reading books. Did I mention the photographs?

Sophia has included ‘A Few Shopping Lists’. Under this heading are lists containing items you can use for your Kindness Kit, movie and television sitcom recommendations, music to listen to, and books to read.

Did I mention the photographs? If you do not like anything else about this book, you will love the photographs. They are simply fantastic. They lifted my mood immediately and are pleasing to the eye.

Thanks to Sophia Stuart for sharing her “modern book of hours” with us. It is simple, short, and sweet. I recommend this book for anyone whom has fallen victim to home recovery. I also recommend to make a Kindness Kit for a friend, family member, and yourself. I plan to!



I received this book free from the Book Nook reviewer program for an unbiased review.


Tuesday, March 18, 2014

I LIKE GIVING by Brad Formsma

“Tracy Autler, a single mother of a three-year-old, eight months pregnant, she was relying on welfare and food stamps to get by…Tracy would do the best she could with canned food.” This was taking place Thanksgiving 1993. Someone knocked on her door. It was a delivery from the local restaurant with a full Thanksgiving dinner. Tracy was so moved by the generosity that she starting helping others, by giving the moment she was able to get off welfare.

 This is the beginning of Brad Formsma’s book. Throughout, there are compassionate stories of people giving to others. Brad shares his moments of giving, as well as his wife and children with their own stories.

 “I LIKE SHARING THE DANCE”
 Susan and her husband had divorced. They have two sons, Nathan and Tony. He remarried to Eve who already had a son named Gabriel. When it came time for Nathan’s wedding, everyone was worried about the strained relationship between Susan and eve. It was time for the groom and mother dance. Susan was dancing with Nathan and then suggested he ask Eve to dance with him. “Are you sure?” he asked. I was.” Susan decided to share her dance with Eve because she had lost Gabriel to a tragic car accident. Susan felt this would be only time Eve would ever have for a mother and son dance. As I read Susan’s story, I could feel the heartfelt compassion she had and the appreciation of Eve.

 In between the ‘I Like’ testimonies, Mr. Formsma discusses his own giving experiences with giving. He further encourages everyone to ‘like giving’ of themselves to others. He explains the fulfillment it gives once you start. It is important to set an example for the next generations behind us. There are twelve chapters of giving experiences as told by the givers. Once you finish reading, you will find yourself wanting to share their stories with those around you. I recommend this book to those understanding the importance of giving and to those who want to learn how to begin giving.

 I received this book free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for this unbiased review.



Sunday, March 16, 2014

KNOW ORPHANS by Rick Morton

Rick Morton lets you know up front that he did not initially want to adopt. He was somewhat apprehensive. He realized turning to the bible on adoption of orphans is where the answer would be found.

Mr. Morton states, “God began to consume our attention with Ukraine over the next few months.” Rick and his wife began the process of adoption for an orphan from the Ukraine. He explains their first step was meeting with a social worker. They also had plenty of reading material to go through and seminars to attend.

Mr. Morton discusses the connection between global orphan care and the Gospel. He references teachings of Jesus and his engagement of widows, orphans, and sojourners.  Biblical chapters used are Jeremiah 7, Deuteronomy 10 and 14.

He further discusses that men take part in this mission. With so many orphans globally, there is an immediate need for male role models in their lives. 

Titus 1:15-16 and Acts 20:28-30 are used to discuss abuse and corruption in the church and world. Mismanagement and corruption in adoption agencies must continually be policed.

Mr. Morton shares information on the transnational adoption procedures, the need to care for orphans globally, and the biblical reasoning for attempting this fete. Although I consider transnational adoption a good gesture, I believe you should take care of home first. There are orphan children in the United States of America that need just as much care. My suggestion would be adopting in the United States first, then adopt abroad. I recommend this book for readers who want additional insight to adopting transnational. Also, recommended to church missionary ministry personnel.


I received this book free from New Hope Publishers through the Litfuse Reviewer Program for an unbiased opinion. 

Saturday, March 15, 2014

BLACK CHALK by Christopher Yates

“Volenti non fit injuria. To the consenting person, no injury is done.”

Jolyon, Chad, Mark, Emilia, Jack, and Cassandra (Dee) are freshmen at an England university. Jolyon and Chad have created a game that is comprised of challenges and consequences. It is a game that must be kept secret, which none of its inner workings may be divulged. Each player must make a monetary deposit in order to play. If a member decides not to complete their challenge or consequence, the deposit is forfeited.

The Game begins innocently with harmless challenges and consequences for each of the six members. Chad suggests that the challenges should become more of a personal nature, taking aim at individual weaknesses.

Then there were five. Mark quits after refusing to complete one of his challenges. Then there were four. Emilia has an argument with Jolyon and the others regarding her challenge. She feels it is too personal. Then there were three. Jack is late to one of the Game meetings. Eventually, he does not show and is voted out of the Game. And then there were two. Dee quits after a tragic accident involving Mark.

By a single cut of a deck of cards, the Game will be put on hold following Mark’s accident. It is decided that the face cards will have a value of: Jacks (11), Queens (12), Kings (13), and Aces (14). The deck is cut, Ace of Spades, fourteen years until the final round of the Game.

Fourteen years later, the Game resumes between Jolyon and Chad….. Who will win? Was the Game a game within a game?


Christopher Yates should be commended for penning this fantastic novel. I have not read such a psychologically charged novel in quite a while. It is refreshing and definitely starts you thinking with its plot twists and turns. You are not just a reader or bystander. I recommend this novel to those who are looking for a book to keep them on their toes mentally.