Welcome to my site

What can I say? I'm so pleased that you've come here. I've spent 5 years blogging, more than that building websites and have been writing "professionally" since 2003. I'm here to help writers with their writing, encourage people through this life, and point them to Jesus. That's the most important thing. So stay tuned. Check this site regularly as "some of the features" may change. I'll need help from time to time, because I'm not perfect. If you're perfect, please go to another site. I'm pretty sure you won't fit in here.

Unbalanced Scales

I'm sure everyone in the U.S. already knows that we are in danger. The problem is that so much of the rhetoric and the old rules are just antagonizing things.

For instance, only weeks ago all the media could do was talk about going over a fiscal cliff. Now, however, that cliff seems to have disappeared and they are talking about spending ceilings. I don't know about you, but this tells me that the people in Washington (D.C) don't know what they're talking about.

Then comes the IRS looming on the horizon. It's hard enough to get around with their hands in our pockets year round, but they expect an extra-special bonus via our Income Tax. We've been gritting our teeth and baring this for years, but now it's becoming harder and harder to find the forms to fill out, even if you can understand them, so you can send them in and pay that tax. I'm of the inclination that if they want my money they should come and fill out all the forms and make it easy. I'm not one of these people who expect freebies. It's just that the founding fathers didn't get paid, and if they did it was by their district, and probably in feed or livestock. I say we go back to that. You want to get out of our $15 trillion debt, then stop paying the people who aren't listening to us when we say, "No taxes."

I know, that's idealistic, but this country was built on ideals, and hard work made it work. That is until the government decided to pay for those who didn't want to work. Take a good idea and present it to Congress or the Senate and the first thing they do is appoint a special task force to investigate the problem. Oh, and all those tax problems we face, they do not face. How'd that happen. Whatever happened to "We the People..?"

Friday, July 16, 2010

Predator, by Terri Blackstock

The final of the 3 books by Terri Blackstock I've chosen to review is Predator. This is both a timely and informative work of suspense on a different level. This was truly and up all night suspense.

The story begins before we open to the first page. We are attending the funeral services of Emily Carmichael, dead at 14, and view the story through the eyes of her sister, Krista. How was a Christian, good girl dead at the tender age of 14? Krista traces some things out and finds that her activities on GrapeVyne, an online social network, provided her attacker with all the information he needed to find Emily when she was most vulnerable. Krista, feeling she has failed at protecting her sister, sets out on a crusade to protect others from online predators. Her first stop is GrapeVyne, and its creator Ryan Adkins. Her explosive confrontation with him masks her own feelings of devastation. Meanwhile her father keeps sinking deeper and deeper in depression. This God-appointed meeter between Krista and Ryan, coupled with the continued actions of the predator and the depths of depression we find the father in make for some dynamics that is, well, artful, while at the same time impressing on us the importance of knowing what we are doing when we are online.

I'm not going to go into the story too much, because it is so well crafted I don't want to ruin it for you. I will say this, after reading this I was so moved that I began talking to friends and family members about their online activities. I've caught myself starting to say something in a "comment" which would have been plastered all over my "friends" sites (much like the "Thought Bubbles" mentioned in Predator). It is so easy to let something slip. It's so easy to tell people that you are going to a certain store or event at that moment, and through a series of other slips a predator can find out what your real name is, where you live (even sometimes the actual street address), know your current age, gender, interests, when you are alone, when you feel vulnerable, when you feel safe, who you trust and who you would be wary of. Taking all of this information predators go after their prey. The most common predator is the sexual predator. Girls, you post photos of yourself that show locations as well as, in many cases, too much skin. You tease, imply, flirt. And all the while a sexual predator is taking all of this down. Too many people find themselves victims of sexual predators and others simply because they supplied them all the information. I can't impress on you strong enough how Predator, by Terri Blackstock has restructured the way I view things online. Read it and let it change the way you do things and look at things. It's not enough to trust in the Lord. Sometimes God asks that you use the common sense He gave you. When you don't you step out from under His protection, and the results can be devastation.

Click Here to visit Terri Blackstock's site
or Here to read her Testimony (I highly recommend reading this)

You can purchase her this book at:

Christian Book

Barnes & Noble as well as


Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Intervention, by Terri Blacstock

Sorry about the lull in getting this next post out. Truth is I got sidetracked and forgot I promised to get these 3 reviews out in several days. My apologies to everyone.

Intervention - We've read about what it is, seen it in movies and even parodies in sitcoms, but what is it? Simply put it is when a situation gets so bad, so out of hand, that an outside force is asked to "intervene" and make the bad situation go away. If you fall out of an airplane, hopefully you are wearing a parachute. Pulling the ripcord to that chute is asking that it would intervene on your behalf and keep you from dying from your fall. You put your faith in the power the parachute has to do this.

In Terri Blackstock's book, Intervention, Barbara Covington has been dealing with her daughter, who has become addicted to drugs. She's tried everything with no positive results, so when she sees a Christian Intervention Program out of Atlanta, GA advertising she decides that she has nothing to lose. Some warning flags go up when she meets the woman who will be her interventionist. She's told that her daughter, Emily, will have to fly with her to Atlanta, and then take a short drive out to their facilities, and "Mom" can't come. Yet her pain over her daughter's addiction is so great she decides to entrust her daughter to this stranger. When the plane lands in Atlanta the interventionist calls Barbara and lets her know that everything is going well, and that they are both fine. She then lets Emily talk to her mother. After the call Barbara Covington's mind has been put at ease, but it is short lived. Shortly after that call she learns that this interventionist has been murdered in the parking lot of the Atlanta airport, and that her daughter is not only missing, but police are looking for her in connection with that murder. Mrs. Covington quickly arranges to go to Atlanta herself. She must find her daughter before the police. What follows is a gripping suspense that, at its core, is the breaking heart of a mother whose only goal was to help her daughter. Along the way both mother and daughter learn some things about themselves, about each other, and about the God who, although seemingly absent, is still in control.

This really caught me up short. Being an author myself who has emailed Terri numerous times and feels a special connection with her, I began to realize that she had gone through this herself. She was writing from personal experience. I couldn't begin to imagine the pain she must have gone through, but I felt the pain for a friend who had gone through that and it wove its way into how I viewed the story. A powerful story, Intervention should be one of the next novels you run out to purchase, especially if you have children and are going through the same situation, that is having a child who has become addicted to drugs. Even if you don't reading this can help you understand those who do, but the greatest thing you'll learn is how God is far above these problems, while at the same time going through them with His children. We can learn to lean on Him, knowing He will bring all things together for good.

Click HERE to visit Terri Blackstock's website.
For a special insight you can read her Testimony Here (I highly recommend reading this testimony)

You can purchase Intervention at:

Christian Book

Barnes & Noble and


Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Double Minds, by Terri Blackstock

Double Minds, by Terri Blackstock

Parker James, singer/songwriter, has been basically forced into the song writing aspect because her best friend, Serene, has captured the hearts of the Christian music industry. This book deals with compromise and the accompanying rationalization that comes with compromises. Terri Blackstock takes us on an incredible journey into the Christian music industry where we find that not everything is as it seems. Many supposed Christian musicians and heads of the various companies that make up this industry are anything but Christian. You'll find that all too often the "bottom line" is their God. Things get all out of whack when a receptionist at the company Parker works for is murdered. All during this incredibly fascinating tale she worries about Serene. She seems way too thin, but Serene tells her that she has to watch her figure if she's to climb her way to the top as a Christian performer. Slowly the veil is lifted and they both begin to see things as they truly are, but the trip in getting there is one you won't want to miss.

How many of us have been asked to compromise on our belief in Christ? How many of us have told ourselves, "It's not really that bad. Besides I can do more for the Lord if I listen to them"? I work as a library clerk, and every so often someone will come in and talk about the Bible, about Jesus and His love with me. I have been told several times that such behavior is inappropriate. You know what goes through my mind? I ask myself, "How can it be inappropriate to speak words that might just possibly reach into a person's life so that they accept Jesus as Savior and avoid eternal destruction? Now I know I can over do it. I can do this when I'm supposed to be waiting on a patron, and at those times perhaps it is inappropriate, but when no one is around and things are slow, I believe I am to at the very least show that I am not ashamed of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Do I still compromise? Yeah, unfortunately there are some areas where I still need to learn to give over to Jesus. I'm learning. I'm moving in the right direction, even if it is slowly. The point is that I am moving and I trust God to be there for me always. My prayer is that I will accept life as He gives it to me and move ever closer to Him, refusing to compromise.

Be sure to visit her site HERE

And be touched by her TESTIMONY

You can purchase Double Minds, by Terri Blackstock at the following online venues, and probably at your local Christian bookstore:


Barnes & Noble

Christion Books

Monday, July 12, 2010

Featuring Terri Blackstock

Over the next few days I'd like to feature author and friend Terri Blackstock. I'll be posting reviews on the following books. They are her most recent and her best.

Before we get into those reviews I'd like to share with you my own opinions about Terri Blackstock, as a writer and as a person. The first novel of hers I read was Cape Refuge, the initial book of the series of the same name. I was intrigued. Prior to this I'd read Brandilyn Collins, another great Christian suspense author (and another red head). They were both great and answered emails I wrote. While Brandilyn did try to encourage me online, it was Terri who wrote me about some things that I should investigate before committing myself. Don't get me wrong. I'm not saying one is better than the other as a human being, but Terri seemed to connect with me. Her books are all dedicated to "the Nazarene". Initially I found her books to be like a lot of other Christian romantic suspense. You introduce some people, one of them, usually a guy who isn't a Christian, then play matchmaker so that by the end of the book this guy has come to the Lord and the girl is now part of his life. It's kind of a "happily ever after" routine, which quite frankly I found both boring and predictable. However, I liked the way Terri created the suspense in her books and was able to make her characters realistic. I learned that she leaned heavily upon things she had gone through or thought about personally in creating both her plots and her characters. Then I read one of her letters to the reader (which I recommend ever reader read after completing her books). This particular one said something like, "If my writing is not leading you to study the Word of God, then you have no business reading it, and I have no business writing it." I was stunned to find an author who is of the highest possible scale telling people NOT to read her work if it doesn't create a greater hunger for God. I had mentioned something of the sort in a Christian post and another fairly well-read author tried to take me to task. Their point of view was that you should write to sell as many copies as possible. Now I can't think of a single writer who doesn't have that in mind, but my point was that I write for the Lord and as such for that one person who really needs to hear what He is saying in my works. Reading this statement in Terri Blackstock's book showed me that I had found a friend, someone whose heart of ministry came before her writing. That is truly awesome.

As things progressed her writing just seemed to get better. Then, while the world watched in shock at the devastation of Hurricane Katrina, the event sparked something in Terri. Living in an area that was affected by this natural disaster (she was weeks without electricity) she began a "what if?" novel called Last Light, the first of her Restoration Series. This also, in my mind, marked a decided change in her writing. It probed deeper, asked harder questions, and refused to give the easy answers. She began, at that time, to take on issues that we face every day, and the doubts, fears and anger that we all share, then work us through the story so we could see how God was always in control, even when we thought at some points, He wasn't there or didn't hear us when we prayed. Instead of the simplistic, easy and often glib "churchy" answers to difficult problems she began giving us the hard facts from God's Word, the answers that can be tough to accept, but if we do we truly find out that God loves us more than we possibly could imagine. The 3 books I'm going to review are examples of that, each one better than the previous work. While I would love to have her works toured on the Christian Fiction Review Blog, (you can find that blog at http://cfrblog.blogspost.com) we have already toured one of her books this year, and since CFRB basically is dedicated to get unknowns out there I couldn't really do that to the other writers and eclipse them with her works. I could, however, post my own reviews on my own blog. So that is what I have done. Oh, and as for the "legal notice" that usually is needed for these reviews, I have NOT received any of these books from her or her publisher. So you can be sure that these reviews are done from my heart, not in payment for "services rendered". I checked out all three of these books from the library and own one of them. (I own some of her other books as well) So there is no need for a legal notice. These are books I have read because I wanted to read them and reviews written because they have moved me so much. Lastly let me say this, because I think Terri would want me to say this, give God the glory. As good a writer as Terri Blackstock is, that is just the gift that God has given her, and the one she has been faithful in using for Him. However, it is God who empowers these works, often speaking through them, making them more than just another novel. Yes, I thank God for Terri, but for these works I give God the glory. Jesus is, after all, the Author and Finisher of our faith. - David Brollier; author of The 3rd Covenant

To find out more about Terri Blackstock visit her site HERE

To get a clearer picture of this extraordinary individual you should read her TESTIMONY

Monday, July 5, 2010

The Duke's Handmaid, by Caprice Hokstad

CFRB tours THE DUKE'S HANDMAID, by Caprice Hokstad...again. In August of 2007 we toured THE DUKE'S HANDMAID, by Caprice Hokstad. At the time she was self-published, and there were some things she and Xulon didn't see eye to eye on. Now, Grace Bridges and her Splashdown Books, has acquired this book, repacked it and made some minor changes. So I thought, why not tour it again? As I re-read THE DUKE'S HANDMAID I remember some of the great things from the first time I read it, but I began to see even more. To me that is just another indicator that Caprice Hokstad has been about to basically create her own sub-genre, which she calls a "sword opera", and prove to the writing world that she is head and shoulders above many "known" authors already out there.

The story is actually a love story, but she approaches this in a manner that respects what love truly is, and it is NOT lust. Most contemporary romances are nothing but tales of lust. Not only does she make a clear distinction between the two, but she shows you that real love is something worth having, even if you have to give up everything else, including the object of your love. Now I know that sounds contradictory, but it really isn't. If a man loves a girl and she wants to pursue a career rather than get involved with him he will let her go, not because it is easy or because he wants to see her go, but because his love for her is so great that he would rather see her happy than make her miserable by forcing her to stay with him. We find this same selfless love in THE DUKE'S HANDMAID.

We find much more though too. We find ourselves on another world in a society that is complex, yet believable. We find things going on that we may have faced, at least to some degree, in our own lives, and then we are challenged to love beyond a way we have ever possibly loved before. And who are we to love this way? First and foremost we are to love our Lord this way. When we do we will find He can give us the same love for our spouse, and then for others, even our enemies. So grab a copy, open in up, and fall in love with a new kind of writing that one day other writers will be comparing their own work to, and largely failing, but that's the way it is when you're the best there is. The rest of us have to come after "best". I'm content to come after Caprice, knowing she is a truly great writer.

Visit Caprice's website.

Purchase The Duke's Handmaid from Splashdown Books.

(Coming soon to Amazon and Barnes & Noble) For a limited time, the .pdf eBook is FREE from Lulu or get the Kindle version from Amazon for just 99 cents!

Check out the following blogs for more about her book

According to Federal law I have to tell that I received this book for free so I can do a review. Such a statement is meant to question the actual value of the book, so I want to set your minds at ease. Although in 2007 I did receive a free, pre-release copy of her book to do a review I have deemed it, even in its original form, of a quality high enough to give Caprice Hokstad a 2nd tour with CFRB. In other words, for this tour I have used the older version, knowing that the work deserved another tour. As far as a fantasy is concered The Duke's Handmain a book that, by it's quality, stands alone among many naturally gifted and well known writers. If you own a copy of this book, I believe that somewhere down through time you are going to say, "Caprice Hokstad? Of course I've heard of her. Her work is amazing." And you will feel a special glow because you will have purchased this book before she became famous, which I totally believe she will become. No one paid me to say that.