Thursday, August 6, 2015

Toby Mac- This is Not a Test

I'm a huge fan of TobyMac. The guys doesn't seem to age. His music just gets better and better. I am loving his new album and I know you will too! So many good songs to enjoy! #4 is all sorts of fun. #10 is awesome, DC Talk is featured. Gotta love a good throwback. This album releases tomorrow. Go get it!

Toby McKeehan(known professionally as TobyMac) is a husband, father, performer, songwriter, producer, and businessman.  Growing up in the northern Virginia suburbs adjacent to Washington D.C. helped instill his love for rap music.  While attending Liberty University during the mid 80s, Toby met Michael Tait and Kevin Max Smith and these three friends formed the Grammy winning, platinum selling group dc Talk.  Toby began his solo career in 1999 with his first solo album, Momentum, releasing in 2001.  Momentum has been followed by four additional studio albums, Welcome to Diverse City (2004), Portable Sounds (2007), Tonight(2010), and Eye On It (2012), along with his first live album, Alive and Transported (2008).  This Is Not A Test is his 6th studio album to be released.  Starting with dc Talk, and then going solo when the group disbanded, Toby still clings to such rootsy notions as hard work, persistence, patience, and - perhaps most relevant of all - the power of music, which he insists is still what keeps him going.  "It's the truth," he says.  "I still believe that a song can penetrate a heart.  I believe God can use a song to open someone's mind and heart."   

This Is Not A Test  (Deluxe Edition) Songs: 
1. Like a Match
2. Backseat Driver (featuring Hollyn & TRU)
3. This Is Not a Test (featuring Capital Kings)
4. Lights Shine Bright (featuring Hollyn)
5. Til the Day I Die (featuring NF)
6. Feel It (featuring Mr. Talkbox)
7. Move (Keep Walkin')
8. Love Broke Thru
9. Beyond Me
10. Love Feels Like (featuring dc Talk)
11. Undeniable
12. Lift You Up (featuring Ryan Stevenson)
13. Fall
14. Beyond Me (Phenomenon Remix)
15. Like a Match (Garcia's Remix) 

Head to to order today! 

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

The Covered Deep

The Covered Deep
Brandy Vallance
Worthy Publishers

Bianca Marshal is holding out for the perfect husband. Finding a man that meets the requirements of her must-have list in the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains has proven impossible. Bianca's mama insists that there s no such thing as a perfect true love, and that Bianca s ideal man is pure fiction. On the eve of her twenty-fifth birthday, Bianca discovers a devastating statistic: her chance of marrying is now only eighteen percent. Unwilling to accept spinsterhood, Bianca enters an essay contest that propels her into a whirlwind search for her soulmate. Via the opulence of London and the mysteries of the Holy Land, Bianca's true love will be revealed, but not without a heavy price.

The struggle was real for me with this book. I didn't make it very far before I quit. Too may characters, the plot seemed convoluted, and in truth, I was a little creeped out at times. There are some books I'm just not in the mood for at the time and then there are books that I don't have any desire to try to read again. I couldn't connect with the characters and after trying repeatedly I gave up. Just being honest. 

My thanks to Worthy Publishers for providing me with a free copy of this book in exchange for my real and honest review. 

Heaven Help Heidi

Heaven Help Heidi
Sally Johnson
Harvest House Publishers
February 2015
Fiction, Contemporary, Romance

Welcome to the Casa de Vida—eleven quaint bungalows located three blocks from the Pacific Ocean in tiny Seaside Village, California. Owner Liv McAlister never advertises vacancies beyond a small hand-lettered sign out front, preferring to trust that God will send the right tenant at just the right time. And He always does.

Heidi Hathaway’s life has been turned upside down. After an accident leaves her injured, unable to work, and incapable of negotiating the stairs in her multilevel oceanfront condo, she leases her home and moves into a cozy little cottage in the charming garden complex where her friend Piper lives. There she finds so much more than a place to rest and recover.

Piper Keyes knows Jared is not coming back from Afghanistan. After making it through the fifth anniversary of his death, she wonders if she’s at last ready to get on with life. She gingerly explores new avenues—photography, cooking, and buying her own boutique—and learns to open her heart again.

The most comforting thing about living at the Casa is that the women there become each other’s mentors and confidantes, learning from their own mistakes and arriving at new, healed places in their lives.

Sigh, I loved this book. Like seriously loved it. I don't typically gravitate towards contemporary fiction but I am so glad I picked up this one. I was immediately drawn in and hooked. The Casa residents are so well developed and feel like family. Heidi's transformation is both subtle and disarming. So worth the read and the missed hours of sleep. Prepare to be transferred to the Casa de Vida family in California. I promise you'll miss them when the book is over. 

My thanks to Harvest House Publishers for providing me with a free copy of this book in exchange for my real and honest review. 

With Every Breath

With Every Breath
Elizabeth Camden
Bethany House Publishers
Historical, Fiction, Romance

In the shadow of the nation's capital, Kate Livingston's respectable life as a government worker is disrupted by an encounter with the insufferable Trevor McDonough, the one man she'd hoped never to see again. A Harvard-trained physician, Trevor never showed the tiniest flicker of interest in Kate, and business is the only reason he has sought her out now. 

Despite her misgivings, Kate agrees to Trevor's risky proposal to join him in his work to find a cure for tuberculosis. As Kate begins to unlock the mysteries of Trevor's past, his hidden depths fascinate her. However, a shadowy enemy lies in wait and Trevor's closely guarded secrets are darker than she ever suspected.

As revelations from the past threaten to destroy their careers, their dreams, and even their lives, Trevor and Kate find themselves in a painfully impossible situation. With everything to lose, they must find the strength to trust that hope and love can prevail over all.

An excellent read! Camden is at it again. Both the historical and medical aspects of the book were extremely intriguing. The banter between the 2 main characters was well thought out and engaging to read. Be warned, a major shock happens about halfway through the book. Take heart, the author concludes things well. Great story development and unique twists. You'll enjoy this one! 

My thanks to Bethany House Publishers for providing me with a free copy of this book in exchange for my real and honest review. 

A Match of Wits

A Match of Wits
Jen Turano 
Bethany House Publishers 
Suspense, Romance, Fiction, Historical

After his departure from New York two years ago to meet up with his almost-fiancĂ©e, Zayne Beckett is the last person Agatha Watson wanted to stumble upon in her travels as a reporter with the New York Tribune. Quite pathetically bedraggled, he clearly needs to be taken in hand and sent back East to his family. Although she no longer has feelings for him, Agatha realizes, by hook or by crook, she'll have to be the one to get the obstinate man home.

Zayne has no desire to be taken anywhere and is prepared to drag his heels all the way home... until he finds himself slipping back into the familiar banter of his former friendship with Agatha. Once they arrive in New York, Zayne realizes Agatha's determined nose for news has earned her a few enemies, and he hopes to repay her help with some help of his own. When she rebuffs all his attempts to prove himself a knight in shining armor, the lengths to which they'll go to win this battle of wills lead to some memorable antics. 

Everyone else may think them a match, but nothing could be further from the truth--until Agatha finds herself in real trouble. Have these two stubborn, too-smart-for-their-own-good people been meant for each other all along?

At many turns this book had me laughing. At other turns I was bored. I felt like I wasn't quite following the storyline and that made it difficult to read. Turano is an engaging author but I just didn't ever get hooked on this one. 

My thanks to Bethany House Publishers for providing me with a free copy of this book in exchange for my real and honest review. 

Captured by Love

Captured by Love
Jody Hedlund
Bethany House Publishers
Fiction, Romance, Historical

It is 1814 and the British have taken hold of Mackinac Island and its fort, forcing American residents to swear an oath of loyalty to the British crown in order to retain their land. Pierre Durant is a voyageur--a fur trader who left his family home to find freedom and adventure. He's been gone five years and when he returns, his family's farm is at the mercy of the British invaders. 

Torn between the life he's grown used to and guilt over leaving his brother and mother, he's drawn back into the loyalist fight against the British--and into a relationship with Angelique Mackenzie, a beautiful local girl who's been befriended by the daughter of the British commander. As tensions mount and the threat of violence increases, both Angelique and Pierre must decide where their loyalties rest, how far they will go to find freedom, and how much they will risk to find love.

Jody Hedlund continues to be one of my very favorite authors. With Captured by Love she cements her spot on my list even more. This book starts slow but stick with it. It quickly kicks it up a notch and it's riveting. I loved the historical aspects of Mackinac Island and the British hold. Angelique is as sweet as they come and she'll capture your heart. Pierre's love of her is intense. Between battles, war-time drama, and stolen kisses this book will keep you reading well into the night. 

My thanks to Bethany House Publishers for providing me with a free copy of this book in exchange for my real and honest review. 

Carolina Gold

Carolina Gold 
Dorothy Love
Thomas Nelson 
Historical, Fiction

The war is over, but at Fairhaven Plantation, Charlotte's struggle has just begun.
Following her father’s death, Charlotte Fraser returns to Fairhaven, her family’s rice plantation in the South Carolina Low country. With no one else to rely upon,smart, independent Charlotte is determined to resume cultivating the superior strain of rice called Carolina Gold.  But the war has left the plantation in ruins, her father’s former bondsmen are free, and workers and equipment are in short supply.

To make ends meet, Charlotte reluctantly agrees to tutor the two young daughters of her widowed neighbor and heir to Willowood Plantation, Nicholas Betancourt.  Just as her friendship with Nick deepens, he embarks upon a quest to prove his claim to Willowood and sends Charlotte on a dangerous journey that uncovers a long-held family secret, and threatens everything she holds dear.

Inspired by the life of a 19th-century woman rice farmer, Carolina Gold pays tribute to the hauntingly beautiful Low country and weaves together  mystery, romance,and historical detail, bringing to life the story of one young woman’s struggle to restore her ruined world.

Because I'm a sucker for historical fiction I thoroughly enjoyed the South Carolina history in this book. I was unaware that there were rice plantations before the Civil War. I loved that this was inspired by a real woman as well. That being said, this book was a slow mover. I wasn't sure where we were going and after 100 pages I wasn't sure I cared. There were a number of "dramatic" moments that were anticlimactic. Overall, it was an easy, if not sleepy, read. 

My thanks to Thomas Nelson Publishers for providing me with a free copy of this book in exchange for my real and honest review. 

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