Dave Bruskas’ advice for Sons | A wonderful parent’s guide by Tynedale House

If you read this post an hour ago when it posted, you may have noticed that it was incomplete.

We had a few technical difficulties but I think I’ve got them all sorted out now.


Today I am reviewing “Dear Son” by David Bruskas. 

I mostly requested this book because I am a single mother and I need all the help I can get with my young son – who is 11 at the moment.

And my advice to you, is to

Whether you ARE a father, or you plan to become a father some day… Whether you are a single mother or a man who is new to Faith and in need of help along the way… If you are a man who has not been the father you need to be or the son who needs to heal the relationship with their own father.

This is the book for you!

This is the book for ALL fathers, sons, young men about to become fathers or single mothers who don’t know how to teach their sons what they’re missing from the father who should be there.


Dave Bruskas GETS IT. So many people today say that things have changed – and while that is certainly true – God has not changed and he never will. And, while our world is confusing and troubled – the relationship between father and son is just as vital as it always has been.

Now, I am not a man or a young boy but I had a distressing relationship with my father for years and when I finally began to realize that I needed to treat him the way the Bible told me to, we began to relate in a way that we never have. I can only imagine the drastic changes we would see in this country if all young men began to do this as well.

One thing Dave Bruskas seems to understand better than most pastors I know is that God truly is a Father to the Fatherless – even those who have a father who is physically there but doesn’t really know how to BE a father. Most of us don’t think about those children. We focus on the children who don’t have a father physically present in their lives. Those are the kids who miss out – right?

Not the ones who understand that God is their Father!

There are parts of this book that are a bit brutal and I applaud that. Too many people tiptoe around the truth because they’re concerned they might possibly offend someone. And, while I am not a fan of the harsh ways some people try to evangelize (bloody pictures of Christ on the side of a bus or truck or a depiction of what we think Hell might be like on a billboard), I do believe that people need to hear and see the truth. And sometimes that truth needs to be brutal.

The words may be harsh in places but the format of the book is not – quite the opposite actually. Dave writes a series of letters to the son he never got to see grow up. It’s heartbreaking but it gives a unique perspective that so many of us – with perfectly healthy young sons – take for granted.

I am truly blessed to have found this book and I am anxious to pass it on to my son. Most of the information in it is helpful to me right now but one day soon, he will need to read it too.




Here is what Tynedale House Publishers has to say about “Dear Son”:

Today’s culture doesn’t encourage men to grow up.

Everyone from pastors to op-ed columnists have described a crisis of masculinity, fostered by a media culture that uniformly make men the butts of jokes.

Men are much more likely to give up on life than women. One indicator of this is the large gender difference in suicide rates—men are four times more likely than women to drop out of life. This points to a profound lack of effective mentoring of men, especially in the church.

Dave Bruskas seeks to fill in this gap with this book. Two decades ago, Dave lost his only infant son to a congenital heart defect. That devastating loss fueled his desire to provide effective mentoring to young men.

Dear Son contains the guidance and insights Dave would have given his son if he had lived through the milestones of growing up: from first dates to first jobs, from weddings to births, from friendships to funerals.

Dear Son contains heartfelt wisdom for life’s journey, especially for guys—and for those who want to strengthen them.



You can find more information and/or buy the book from these popular sites.



MARS HILL CHURCH   RESURGANCE – A Ministry of Mars Hill Church


I received this book free in exchange for an honest review
from the Tynedale Blog Network.




I have no control over the ads you may see below.

I am sorry if any of the content is inappropriate.

“Death Takes A Ride” by Lorena McCourtney



I’m not 100% sure what actually happened here. I think my iPhone is actually responsible for me “requesting” this book.

I say that because “Death Takes a Ride”  is nowhere near my usual type of book… but you know that thing that your phone does on an internet page – you tap the screen and it moves just as your finger touches it and you’ve instead selected something halfway down the page from what you were just looking at.

Yeah, mine does that all the time.

Anyway, apparently my iPhone thinks this is a book worth reading – and Revell sent it to me with certain expectations – so I gave it a try…

And DARN IT! Now I have to go hunt down the first two in the series. Because I don’t have enough books…


Yes, this is the third book in the series and No, I haven’t read the first two but that would definitely not be a good enough reason NOT to read this book! Lorena McCourtney smoothly brings us up to speed and lets us in on the pattern in these novels with only a few short sentences. And she does it in a way that adds to the story without distracting you one bit from the plot.

BRAVO Lorena!

As with most Mystery series, you have at least one character who finds themselves in the middle of a sticky situation at least once in each book and this one is no different.

I LOVE that Cate’s faith is woven into each scene of the book – helping her get through these tough situations and tricky investigations.

I do believe I have found a NEW mystery series that I’m just going to LOVE!

Most of you remember my review a few months ago of an Amish Mystery that I did not expect to enjoy as much as I did either. Apparently my problem was that the mysteries I read years ago that almost completely turned me off to the genre were not even remotely inspirational in nature. They relied on inappropriate relationships and believing impossible things about the characters to keep readers interested.

This book, like the Amish one, DOES NOT do any of that! Which of course means that I LOVE it and will happily recommend it to EVERYONE!





Here is what Revell has to say about “Death Takes a Ride”:

It’s official. This case is above her pay grade–and Cate’s in over her head.

Cate Kinkaid arrives at H&B Vintage Auto Restorations to give a friend a ride. But, as usual, trouble finds Cate even there–this time in the form of one dead man, one wounded man, and what appears to be a pretty obvious case of self-defense.

Despite having been merely an unfortunate bystander, Cate finds herself sucked into the case. And the deeper she gets, the more she begins to suspect that the shooting in the H&B office may not have been as cut-and-dried as it appeared.

Bestselling and award-winning author Lorena McCourtney takes you on wild ride in this clever cozy mystery that will keep you guessing.



You can find more information and/or buy the book from these popular sites.




I received this book free in exchange for an honest review
from the Revell Reads blogger program.





I have no control over the ads you may see below.

I am sorry if any of the content is inappropriate.

An Amish retelling of a beloved Jane Austin classic | “First Impressions” by Sarah Price


OK. I’ll admit it. I almost put this book down and I might not have even picked it back up – had it not been for mom.

She picked it up and would not give it back until she finished it.

Then she handed it to me and told me I had to read it! So of course I did!

And yes… it may have a bit of a slow start but give it a chance. It won’t take any time until you are pulled right in to the story.

And WHAT a story!

I never could have expected such a powerful story with so many little surprises and some absolutely priceless laugh-out-loud moments.

Realms was a genius to snap up Sarah Price when they had the chance!

This series is going to be amazing – I can tell!

And while I’ve never been much of a fan of the original stories by Jane Austin, I can tell I’m going to LOVE these! But then… the Amish aspect brings so much to it and Sarah’s writing is positively wonderful!

Whether you enjoy Amish fiction or not, if you enjoy a good romance with fun quirky characters and a solid moral – you will LOVE this book!


And here is what Realms has to say about “First Impressions”:

Will pride and prejudice keep the Blank sisters from finding love?

With five daughters and no sons, Daed and Maem Blank are anxious to find their girls suitors who might eventually take over their family farm. When news arrives that Charles Beachey, the son of a prominent Amish farmer, will be returning from Ohio with his cousin Frederick, they are hopeful that the young men might be good matches for their daughters.

The oldest daughter, Jane, starts courting Charles, a well-mannered and very respectful young man, but her younger sister Lizzie is not interested in either courtship or Frederick. In fact, she wants nothing to do with him, finding him full of pride and disdain for her family’s way of life. But in a community and culture where pride is scorned, Lizzie must learn that first impressions can be dangerous and people are not always who they seem to be.

This Amish retelling of the popular Jane Austen classic Pride and Prejudice is a beautiful take on the power of love to overcome class boundaries and prejudices that will win your heart.




You can find more information and/or buy the book from these popular sites.




I received this book free in exchange for an honest review
from the Booketeria blogger program.






I have no control over the ads you may see below.
I am sorry if any of the content is inappropriate.

Even when the answer is no…

Recently I was lamenting (complaining…) to my mother that I just didn’t know what was going on with this crazy situation. And, while I have to say I am still more than a little perplexed, I am glad to be able to take a step back and look at the bigger picture.

What am I talking about…?

Well, you all know I review books. In fact, I review a LOT of books for several different companies, two different street teams and various authors seeking influencers. I love to read and people really seem to love my reviews so it seems like a no-brainer.


And now it seems like a major downer. A certain company I review for (they WILL remain nameless because it wouldn’t be nice or Christian to point fingers) has decided to deny me for multiple tours I’ve signed up for recently.

Now, if this was the norm for how my relationship has been with them to date… I wouldn’t wonder – I would be looking at the situation very differently but it’s not… at all. Up to now, I have only ever been denied for 1, yes that’s right – 1 tour. To be fair, I don’t sign up for every single tour that comes through my inbox. First I don’t sign up for a book if I don’t think I will enjoy it. Second, who has time to be a mom, home-school, write full-time and review three or four books every day.

Not me!

So I only sign up for tours I am interested in. I do this with every single company – that’s why you don’t see me reviewing a lot for some of them. Not that they don’t publish quality books… they do. But nobody likes every book or every genre.

At any rate, I’m rambling now.


So how did I handle this rejection? Well… my spiritual gift is Mercy so I cried. This is why I have had so much trouble with the query process. Every single rejection feels very personal and devastating… so I cried. And then I ranted a bit. And then I realized there must be a reason for this. The rejection isn’t personal. It’s God’s will – And I need to respect that.

So I have accepted it – well I’m working on it anyway… I’m a mercy! We don’t let go of things easily.
But I’m trying to remember that God’s answer is always the best one. So maybe it’s that He knows I’m going to have more than I can handle elsewhere coming up soon. Or maybe I need more time to write or more time with the family. Who knows… well He does.

As difficult as it is for me to take a “No.” as anything other than a personal rejection, I don’t know all of the circumstances so I’m going to have to find a way to let it go and go on.

Bowing out gracefully…

I try very hard, as a person who strives to have a good relationship with God, not to judge people unfairly.

Having said that, there is something I have been struggling with…a lot… the last few months. Not long ago, one of the review companies I work with revamped their site. One of the parts of this process was adding books by other publishing houses they are associated with.

And it has been a mighty struggle for me. How do I continue to review for a company whose new listing of books makes me cringe? And, while they made a point of asking me about my own preferences, you can not even log into the site without seeing those other types of books.

Well… something has got to give and it’s going to be me.

Yes, I will miss being able to get Cindy Woodsmall’s books early and free to read and review but my faith and my witness is NOT worth the damage that I am certain will be inflicted with constant exposure to such (I will refrain from using the word I want to use here…use your imagination).

Cindy Woodsmall’s books were about the only ones holding me there. And I will be happy to buy them and support her. I may not always be able to afford them as soon as they come out but I hope God will lead me to sales so I can afford to continue to support a fellow author whose work I enjoy – oh so much.

And sadly, this may be something I have to do elsewhere as well – as more Christian publishers are being purchased by Secular houses.

Be assured, I will continue to pray for the people in charge of this organization. I pray they will see just how damaging these books are – even to people who are not followers of Christ!

And please pray for me. Pray I get published soon so I can afford to support my fellow authors and the only reason I get an advance copy of any book is to write a blurb for a friend.


Good Night and God Bless.

~ JC

An Early Review of “Caroline’s Secret” by Amy Lillard | Wells Landing Book 1

I stumbled upon Amy Lillard‘s work entirely by accident and it was equally coincidental that I ended up on her street team!

Which is how I got an early look at her new book: “Caroline’s Secret”

And let me tell you, this book is just as fantastic a read as her Clover Ridge series!

If she writes mainstream fiction anywhere near as well as she does Amish fiction… it’s a wonder she hasn’t sold a million+ copies.

The characters will immediately engage you, pulling you right into their world – and that is not always an easy thing to do.

Now granted I read an uncorrected proof because it was an early sneak peek (I LOVE being on the street team!!!) but the finished story is sure to be just as amazing once it’s all finished and fixed.

And isn’t it interesting – I think I found less mistakes in the “uncorrected proof” than I have in a lot of regular published books.

Amy Lillard has a particular talent for pulling you into her characters’ skin. It’s wonderful! You feel what the characters feels and it really makes the book REAL for you! Or it does for me… at any rate. And her skill does not end with the characters. She always writes a stellar story and she paints a beautiful picture for us too. There’s no feeling that you’re just following someone around a blank town. We see the area around our characters and that also helps make the story REAL!

Now… I get to be on pins and needles until the next book in this series is ready for us to check out. Write faster Amy. LOL!

DO NOT MISS THIS ONE! If you have not pre-ordered, go do it now! “Caroline’s Secret” releases officially on August 5th! You can pre-order from Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Books a Million and iTunes! (I listed the links below for your convenience)




Here is more about “Caroline’s Secret” from Kensington:

In Amy Lillard’s poignant introduction to Wells Landing, a small Amish community is home to two brave souls hoping to forget their painful pasts and rebuild their faith in the future. . .

Caroline Hostetler arrived in Oklahoma determined to forge a new life for herself and her daughter, Emma. As a single mother, she values the warmth and safety she’s found in close-knit Wells Landing. She’s even caught the eye of a handsome newcomer–a man who just may be the partner she longs for and the father Emma deserves. But the arrival of an Englisher threatens to lay bare the secrets she’s worked so hard to leave behind. . .

After losing his life-long sweetheart, Andrew Fitch moved to Wells Landing to work in his uncle’s furniture business and nurse his broken heart. Finding love again seems all but impossible–until he meets Caroline and Emma. But his plans to join their lives together may be shattered when the truth of Caroline’s past comes to light–unless, together, they can learn the true meaning of sacrifice and forgiveness. . .



You can find more information and/or buy the book from these popular sites.







Disclaimer: I received this book free in exchange for an honest review from the author.

I have no control over the ads you may see below.
I am sorry if any of the content is inappropriate.

“Love Comes Home” by Ann H. Gabhart

First I want to extend my deepest condolences to Ann and her family. If you are a follower on Facebook, you know Ann’s mother passed on to be with The Lord this past weekend.

Take comfort in that Ann. She is out of pain now. God Bless You!




Now… to what I thought of the book.

Love Comes Home by Ann H GabhartThis is most definitely not my usual style but the synopsis captured my attention so I had to see for myself.

And I do believe I have found another AMAZING genre I’m going to get sucked right into!

In the past, when I’ve read Historical fiction or crime fiction – the one bit I was missing was the “Inspirational” and I never really saw how much that affected my opinion.

But now that I have discovered the depth of emotion and the complexity of the characters Inspirational authors put into their novels, I am not even tempted to read most secular fiction.

If you really need some kind of a crazy hook to make your book good – it’s not really good!

And Ann H. Gabhart is GOOD!

I felt like I was there! And I’ve never been much for history – of course history books are not written like this so that may have a little bit to do with it – but I could almost hear the church bells, feel the sticky pavement and smell the sweet, clean air as “Love Comes Home” opens with Ann’s main characters taking turns telling this fabulous story!

Ann has a talent for delving deep into emotion and it doesn’t take very long until you feel pulled right into the story of these sisters and their reactions to the end of World War II. I don’t know what it feels like to lose a husband in the kind of conflict WWII created but thanks to Ann Gabhart, I can easily imagine it.

Whether you enjoy WWII fiction or not, DO NOT miss this book!

I have a feeling it is one I will read again and again for years to come – along with her other books that I will now be on the hunt for so I can catch up!



More about “Love Comes Home” from Revell:

When the flush of victory fades, there remains a winding road to an uncertain future.

World War II is finally over and the people of Rosey Corner are joyfully welcoming the boys home. The Merritt sisters in particular are looking toward the future. Kate is eager to start a family and live out her dream of happily ever after with Jay. Evangeline craves a beautiful house and encourages Mike to pastor a big-town church. Victoria wants what can never be. And Lorena is growing up and wondering more and more about her birth family.

Each sister must learn to hold her plans with a loose hand, trusting that God will guide and strengthen them as they share the joys and sorrows of life in their little corner of the world.

Award-winning and bestselling author Ann Gabhart invites you back to Rosey Corner for a heartfelt story that closes the distance between the things that were and things that can yet be.


You can find more information and/or buy the book from these popular sites.



I received this book free in exchange for an honest review
from the Revell Reads blogger program.




I have no control over the ads you may see below.
I am sorry if any of the content is inappropriate.



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