Arrogance in Speaking

I must honestly admit that I did not listen to President Biden’s speech last night, mostly because his rhetoric and pandering to the liberal left sicken me. However, I do subscribe to “The Daily Wire” and received a copy of Tim Scott’s rebuttal on my SafeChat newsfeed this morning. His entire speech can be found here, and he shows that he “gets it.” He understands that a nation divided against itself cannot stand and that America needs to be united, not torn apart.

Tim Scott’s Rebuttal in The Daily Wire

I’m not going to debate politics here, but I do want to point out what the Holy Bible says about speech, specifically in relationship to actions. Note that in this verse we are admonished not to be arrogant in our speech. In what ways do we show arrogance when we are speaking? I think we do this each time we rush through a conversation with someone whom we don’t consider important in our lives. We just want to move on to the next thing that we consider critical or meaningful, and if the person to whom we are speaking is not part of that plan, we rush our words and turn away. Sometimes, we don’t even listen to them. I think that we show arrogance when we insist that our opinion is the right one and there is no other. There is only One Way to Heaven, that is true. But all of the rest of our opinions are just that…our own opinions. Even my statement about Joe Biden’s rhetoric is only my opinion, and I sincerely believe that you are entitled to your opinion as well. I think that we show arrogance when we don’t take time to listen. We interrupt, talk more loudly and insist that our conversation partner listen to us when we refuse to take the time to listen to them. A wise pastor once told me that we need to listen twice as much as we speak. I have found that I can learn a lot about people just by listening.

All knowledge comes from God and we need to give Him the credit for that instead of pontificating with our own views. The only knowledge that is important is about God and leading people to God and away from sin. After all, God is going to examine all of our actions and I have found that most generally, my actions follow my speech. If I am irate at a certain person for taking my time, my actions are to walk away from them as quickly as I can. Is that what Jesus would have done? How would Jesus act in the current political climate of divisiveness? Would He have taken sides or would He simply have continued to do as the Father instructed Him, teaching and healing and just being the example that we need to follow? If you believe that the latter is true, should we all not be examples for others to follow, leading others to the Father and to eternal life?

One of the reasons that I appreciate Senator Scott’s speech is that he seemed to give it with humility. He didn’t pretend to know everything; however, he did give insight into his own humble beginnings so that I could relate to him as a person instead of one of 100 Senators governing us. He called for unity, a real cry of my heart. Finally, he made the point of saying that you cannot fight discrimination with more discrimination. Shaming white children for being white is no better than shaming others for their skin color. As I told my students when I was teaching: “We are all kin to each other because we are all descended from Noah, regardless of our skin color. Skin color is just melatonin. It doesn’t make me who I am. That’s my choices which form my character.” I liked that Tim Scott knows God’s truth and acts like it. His actions have shown me that he does care about others. He tried to get a common sense police reform bill passed. He has fought for justice in the Senate during the time that he has served and has been an outspoken advocate for the people. Finally, he has not enriched himself on the backs of the people whom he claims to serve. I point out these actions because I want to remind people that God hears the speech, and He judges the actions.

May each of you have a blessed day with God guiding your footsteps and putting a watch over your mouth as He opens your ears to hear.

Review of A PLAN FOR HER FUTURE by Lois Richer

What a very sweet and clean romance! Grace has retired as the town’s librarian and is looking forward to a long trip to celebrate when her old love Jack Prinz shows up with his little granddaughter Lizzie and is insistent that Grace is going to marry him. Grace is generous, compassionate and the perfect person to be Lizzie’s grandmother. All of her traits are admirable and to be emulated. Jack is learning to be a new Christian and to trust God’s will instead of insisting on his own. The plot is predictable but getting to the end was heart-warming entertainment. The characters were well-developed, even little Lizzie with her heartbreak that she needs Grace to help heal. I especially enjoyed Grace’s generosity to her friend Jess and how the entire town rallied around to do a fundraiser to improve the children’s camp. This book portrayed life the way I wish it could be, with people just loving and accepting each other and waiting for God to tell them the next step to take in life. Fans of romance will enjoy this book, especially if you’re older and have given up on love. With the lesson to never give up on God, this was a wonderful story to read!
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received a complimentary copy of this book from Harlequin via Netgalley. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255, “Guides Concerning the Use of Testimonials and Endorsements in Advertising.”

Totally clean and rated G
Photo from author’s website at

Author Bio:

With more than fifty books and millions of copies in print worldwide, Lois Richer continues to write of characters struggling to find God amid their troubled world. Whether from her small prairie town, while crossing oceans or in the midst of the desert, Lois strives to impart hope as well as encourage readers’ hunger to know more about the God of whom she writes. 

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Blog tour excerpt

Grace Partridge, you look stunning so stop fussing.” Jessica James flipped up the car’s visor, hiding the passenger mirror. “Trust me, with your makeup update, your stunning wardrobe and now that glorious feathered cut, you’re going to be attracting men’s looks the entire three months you’re traveling the world.” 

“Oh.” Grace gulped. Attracting men’s looks— Did she really want that? “Maybe it’s too much…” 

“Out!” Jess laughed as she parked in front of Grace’s tidy bungalow. She leaned across and flicked the door latch so the passenger door swung open. “No more second- guessing yourself. Embrace the new you, best friend of mine. And finish getting ready,” she ordered after glancing at her watch. “The Calhoun boys will soon be here to drive you to catch your flight in Missoula.” 

“Yes, they will. Thanks for being my cheerleader.” Grace hugged Jess, stepped out of her car and then she bent over to ask anxiously, “You will call me before I leave?” 

“Try and stop me.” Jessica sounded amused by her hesitancy.

“Thank you, dear friend. You are so—” 

“I love you, too. Later, kiddo.” With a cheery wave, Jess drove away.”

Inside her home, Grace dropped her keys on the dish in the foyer while thinking how much she’d miss Jess these next few months. She hung the new dress she’d just purchased in the closet. What a lot of things she’d bought for this trip. 

Actually, her wardrobe shift wasn’t only for the trip. It was part of Grace’s plan to shed the three D’s: Dumpy, Drab and Dreary. 

Her musing disintegrated at the sound of frantic pounding on her front door. When she pulled it open, her jaw dropped at the sight of a young girl whose face streamed with tears while she danced from one foot to the other. 

“Help,” she pleaded. “My pops is hurt.” 

Taken aback, Grace wondered when that nest of black hair had last seen a comb. 

“Hey! Lady! Help him,” the girl begged. 

“Of course, dear.” Grace snapped into action and grabbed her phone. “Uh, where is your pops?” 

“There.” The child pointed. 

Grace gasped at the sight of a silver-templed man in a battered black leather jacket, lying sprawled on the street in front of an expensive-looking black car. She dialed 911 before racing outside and down her sidewalk toward the victim. 

“I didn’t see him, Grace,” her elderly neighbor Mrs. Fothergill wailed as she stood by her car. “When I started backing up, he wasn’t there. Then he was and my foot slipped on the gas pedal. Please help him.” 

“I’ll try, Mrs. Fothergill. I’m reporting an accident.” Grace focused on the operator and gave her address. “A man’s been hit by a car. We need the ambulance and police. Hold on while I try to find out more about his condition.” 

Grace knelt by the man. He was unconscious. She pressed her fingers against his neck for a pulse. With his head half-buried under his arm she couldn’t get a good look at his face. She was afraid to move him lest there were nonvisible injuries. 

“Oh, Lord, help us,” Mrs. Fothergill chanted repeatedly. Distracted by the feeble woman’s agitation, Grace suggested she sit in her car and wait for help. 

“Please, do something for Pops,” the little girl implored her. 

“I’m doing my best, dear.” Grace studied her watch. “He has a pulse,” she told the operator. “It’s a bit fast. Yes, I do have first-aid knowledge, but I don’t want to move him because his leg is at a strange angle. Also, there’s a large bruise forming above his left eyebrow. I believe he hit his head when he fell so he may be concussed.” She turned to the child. “Does your grandfather take medication?” 

“He already took it,” the girl explained. “I dunno if he’s s’posed to take more.” 

Grace relayed that information and the name of the pre- scription on the vial she withdrew from the pocket of the leather jacket. The name suddenly registered. 

“Jack?” she gasped in utter consternation. 

The man moaned and moved his arm slightly, revealing his face. Grace gaped as her breath whooshed out. 

He’d aged. His face was thinner, more angled, rendering him more rakish-looking than ever. But it was Jack. The operator demanded to know what was going on. 

“The victim’s name is Jack Prinz,” Grace explained after licking her dry lips and finding her voice. “He’s fifty-three. Not from Sunshine. Not for many years.” 


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What Is Right

When the Israelites left Egypt, their leader was Moses, a man who connected directly with God and who led the people just as God told him to do. Years passed, generations passed away and the Israelites turned again and again away from God. They would repent and then God would send them a judge who would assist them in defeating their enemies. Once they found peace again, they went their own way, which was generally not the way of their Lord. They did what was right according to their own opinion. That is at the very core of humanism, a plague more disastrous and destructive than the pandemic we have just been going through.

Humanism is destructive because it is an insidious enemy, drawing people to its beliefs through words that are appealing. Just as the serpent tempted Eve and she gave the forbidden fruit to Adam, that is how this whole philosophy that denies the rule of God spreads. It makes man his own ruler, not answering to any power greater than himself.

As Christians, we know how the story ends. We know that Christ triumphs in the end and all evil is wiped out. It’s the waiting that is hard, isn’t it? The waiting for Christ to return while we watch one group after another declare that they can do what they think is right because they are the only ones who matter. The waiting for sanity to return, for unity to return and for people to declare that God is Lord and there is none other. Unfortunately, like the Israelites, we have a hard lesson to learn and the price for our lack of repentance is a heavy one.

We cannot do what we think is right in our own eyes because God has set the standard in His Holy Word and He expects nothing less than reverence and obedience. After all, He paid the highest sacrifice imaginable, the death of His Only Son, so that we could have the choice of salvation. Yes, it is a choice. That is what is doing right in a true sense. Not the current wave of. “Look over here at this group! It’s a good one to follow!” It is our heart that we follow and our heart needs to have a true compass pointed directly at God. We cannot each do what is right in our own eyes because that leads to the eternal destruction of all society. We are seeing the beginning of that destruction today as brother turns against brother based on skin color or beliefs.

We were meant to know that we are one in Christ. Without Him, we are divided by our own brains telling us that we can do whatever feels good. Drugs? Sure. Sexual promiscuity? Okay. Killing, raping, maiming? No problem. Abort a baby who is an inconvenience? That’s fine, too. Everything in our minds that we want to do is fine, that is until God gets hold of our hearts and resets our compasses. Then and only then can we truly know what our choices should be. We don’t need a king because we have one, the King of kings and the Lord of lords, Jesus Christ, our Savior.

I pray that you have accepted Jesus as your Lord and Savior and that each day you ask God what you should be doing that day that is a right thing to do. Otherwise, you may be following the road to humanism and destruction. God bless you with a true compass and the wisdom to make choices and say words based on God’s truth.

Review of GONE TOO FAR by Debra Webb

This riveting second book in the Devlin and Falco series had me on the edge of my seat as the complicated and multi-layered plot was masterfully unraveled by author Debra Webb. Definitely a suspense thriller, the main characters are Birmingham detectives Katie Devlin and Luke Falco who are called in to investigate a double homicide. One of the victims is a deputy district attorney, Asher Walsh who is somehow connected to former detective Sadie Cross. Sadie had left the force after an undercover operation with the Osorio drug cartel went way south and she ended up with a fragmented memory and nightmares. To add to the plot, Katie’s daughter Tori is involved in an incident at her school that resulted in the injury of a “mean girl.” So many interesting twists and turns were in this book! I enjoyed learning more about Katie’s family life and how devoted she is to Tori and I really liked getting to know Sadie. She is broken because of her past, but she is not irredeemable. The characters made the story, in my opinion, because they were varied, active and so realistic that I expected them to leave the written page and share with me the secrets of what was going to happen next. There was lots of fast-paced action and plenty of cerebral detective work going on as well. Although this is the second book in the series, it can easily be read as a standalone. Fans of suspense thrillers and police procedurals will want to get their hands on this book and devour its mesmerizing pages!
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher via Netgalley. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255, “Guides Concerning the Use of Testimonials and Endorsements in Advertising.”

Because of the mature content in this book, I would rate it a hard PG-13.
Photo from the author’s page at

Author’s Biography (from her page at

DEBRA WEBB is the USA Today bestselling author of more than 150 novels, including reader favorites the Faces of Evil, the Colby Agency and the Shades of Death series. She is the recipient of the prestigious Romantic Times Career Achievement Award for Romantic Suspense as well as numerous Reviewers Choice Awards. In 2012 Debra was honored as the first recipient of the esteemed L. A. Banks Warrior Woman Award for her courage, strength, and grace in the face of adversity. Recently Debra was awarded the distinguished Centennial Award for having achieved publication of her 100th novel. With this award Debra joined the ranks of a handful of authors like Nora Roberts and Carole Mortimer.

With more than four million books sold in numerous languages and countries, Debra’s love of storytelling goes back to her childhood when her mother bought her an old typewriter in a tag sale. Born in Alabama, Debra grew up on a farm and spent every available hour exploring the world around her and creating her stories. She wrote her first story at age nine and her first romance at thirteen. It wasn’t until she spent three years working for the Commanding General of the US Army in Berlin behind the Iron Curtain and a five-year stint in NASA’s Shuttle Program that she realized her true calling. A collision course between suspense and romance was set. Since then she has expanded her work into some of the darkest places the human psyche dares to go.

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Review of THE FUNNY THING ABOUT NORMAN FOREMAN by Julietta Henderson

This is the story of a young boy named Norman whose dream is to appear on the stage and do a comedy routine with his best friend. When tragedy interrupts his plans, Norman gets the help of his mom and an elderly friend named Leonard to fulfill his dream. An important part of the plot is the fact that Norman does not know who his father is (thanks to his mom’s promiscuity), so with the help of Leonard’s research, he sets out to find his bio dad, a man who doesn’t know he exists. The character studies were the most outstanding part of this book. By the time I completed the book, I felt like I knew all three main characters, especially Norman and his mom Sadie. Their strengths and weaknesses were portrayed honestly and in a humorous way. Norman is learning how to be a solo comedian as they travel together and Sadie is learning to accept herself and all of the mistakes she has made in the past. She is also still dealing with the death of her father, so she is conflicted about finding Norman’s father. There are relationships forming and growing between the three as well as with those they meet along the way. I think my favorite part was Norman’s adventures on a moped and his becoming more independent as the book progressed. This is a coming of age novel as well as a novel that touched my heart and led me to reflect on my own life’s choices.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher via Netgalley. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255, “Guides Concerning the Use of Testimonials and Endorsements in Advertising.”

I would rate this book a PG-13 due to content.

About the Author:

Julietta Henderson is a full-time writer and comedy fan who splits her time between her home country of Australia and the UK. The Funny Thing about Norman Foreman is Julietta’s first novel.

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When I was born my insides lay outside my body for twenty-one days. Which is unexpected but not nearly as unusual as you might think. For every 3,999 other babies that come out with everything tucked in neatly and sealed away exactly where it should be, there’s one like me. Nobody really knows why. Luck of the draw, my father used to say. 

For those three weeks while I lay spread-eagled in an incubator like a Nando’s special, a crowd of doctors gathered every morning to discuss their cleverness and, as my organs shrank to their correct size, bit by bit they gently posted a little more of the me-parts that had made a break for it back inside. 

Well that’s the way my mother told it anyway. The way my father told it, the doctors gathered around the incubator every morning to discuss whether they’d be having my large intestine or my liver for their lunch, and whether it’d be with chips or salad. And that right there might tell you almost everything you need to know about my parents.

On my insides’ final day of freedom the head surgeon pushed the last bit through the slit in my stomach and stitched it closed, presumably with everything in its rightful place. I was declared whole and sent home to begin life like almost nothing had ever happened.  

Except that even when the regular hospital check-ups stopped, and the scar on my stomach that I’d never lived without faded to a thin silver seam, I can always remember still feeling the tugging behind it. Something I could never quite name, nudging at the fleshy edges whenever things were going badly, or too well. Or just for fun. To remind me how easily those parts of me that never really fit could come sliding out. Any time we like Sadie. Any time we like.

It wasn’t until I held my own son for the first time that the constant, dull pressure of keeping the scar together receded. When a nurse placed that slippery, crumpled up bundle of boy on my chest, I tightened my grip on a handful of hospital sheet as my world creaked on its axis, bumped into a comfy spot and was finally facing the right way.  

    I didn’t feel the tug on the scar again until a different boy died, and to say I wasn’t ready for it isn’t even the most important thing. Because by then there was a lot more at stake than just my own stupid insides spilling out into the world. I was as scared as hell and I had no idea how to fix any of it. And that right there might tell you almost everything you need to know about me.



First rule of comedy: Timing is everything

Timing is everything. First rule of comedy, Jax says. Because when push comes to shove, if you can get the timing right you can get a laugh. He says. Well I don’t really know how to tell when push is coming to shove but I’ll tell you something I do know. That rule works the other way too. Because when the you-know-what starts to hit the fan, if your timing’s wrong there’s pretty much zilcho you can do to stop it from splattering all over the place. 

Stare straight ahead and think about nothing. That’s a world famous Jax Fenton tactic for what to do when you get yourself into a bit of a mess. Works every time he reckons and he should know. Only maybe it doesn’t. Because when I stare straight ahead all I can see is that big shiny wooden box and instead of nothing I’m thinking about everything. And loads of it. Like does any light get in through the joins and did they let Jax wear his Frankie Boyle Tramadol Nights tour t-shirt. And does whoever put him in there know he only likes to sleep on his side. 

The massive scab on my chest feels so tight that I’m scared to breathe too deep in case it splits down the middle and bleeds all over my new shirt. Stare straight ahead. I move just a bit so I almost can’t see the box behind a couple of heads and my arm touches Mum’s. When I feel her, straight away the mess on my chest relaxes and lets me take half an almost good in-breath. Nearly a whole one. Right before it stabs me all the way through to my back and kazams like a rocket down to my toes. I’m pretty sure I can hear it laughing. Timing is everything, sucker.  

And by the way, that’s another thing I know. That you can’t trust your timing no matter how good it’s been in the past. Not even for people as excellently funny as Ronnie Barker or Dave Allen or Bob Mortimer. Or Jax. 

Because even if you nick a little bit of money for sweets every week-day morning from your mum’s purse, even if you accidentally-on-purpose leave your stepfather’s car door open so the cats get in and wee on the seats, and even if you’re the naughtiest kid in the whole school by a long shot, when you’re eleven years, 297 days and from what the paramedics can tell anything between twelve and sixteen hours old, it’s definitely not a good time to die. 

Stare straight ahead and think about nothing. 



Squashed into the end of the pew with my body leaning into the shape of the space that Norman’s made, I could feel the tense and release of his arms as his small boy hands curled in and out of fists. The buttoned down cuffs of his sleeves rode up ever so slightly with every movement to reveal the trail of psoriasis that spread triumphantly down to the second knuckles. His face was blank as a brick. Dry eyes staring straight ahead. 

‘Just hold on. Hold on son. You’ll get through this.’ I murmured reassuringly. Telepathically. But Norman’s hands kept on curling and flexing and then I noticed his chest was keeping time, rising and collapsing with the movement of his hands. I knew what was lying in wait underneath the thin fabric of his shirt, so then I had another thing to worry about. 

I had to admit it looked like he wasn’t getting my message, possibly because my best telepathic motherly voice was being all but drowned out by the other, very much louder one that lived in luxury inside my head. Fuck you Sadie. You can’t even get this right. As usual it wasn’t pulling any punches.

    The priest who had never met him declared the end to Jax’s life and people began shuffling out of the pews as fast as they could, as if death might still be hanging around looking for company. They knocked our knees, murmured apologies and spilled their overflow of sadness all over us. Like we needed it. The moving huddle in the aisle parted from the back as Jax’s parents set off on their million mile walk, and without turning my head I felt more than saw Josie Fenton hesitate ever so slightly as they passed us. But then they were gone. And my son’s eyes remained fixed on some invisible point that I could only hope lay somewhere far, far beyond the awfulness of the moment. 

A good forty minutes after the last person had left, I reached for Norman’s nearest hand and closed it gently between mine. The chill of the empty church had sidled deep into my bones and I was shocked at the heat of his raw knuckles on my palms. The voice in my head began stage whispering nonsense louder and louder and Norman’s hand stayed rigid in its fist. But I didn’t need that voice to tell me what I’d already figured out about thirty-eight minutes before. I wasn’t going to be nearly enough for this. 

Excerpted from The Funny Thing About Norman Foreman @ 2021 by Julietta Henderson, used with permission by MIRA Books.

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Genres: Fiction/Humor/Coming of Age

Many thanks to MIRA for the ARC to read and review.

Review of AFTERMATH by Terri Blackstock

The story of a bomb planted at a political rally and concert had me absolutely riveted from beginning to end. Dustin, the man who was orphaned at a very young age, is suspected of terrorism and arrested. That leads to his calling his old childhood friend, Jamie Powell, to be his defense attorney. The action was non-stop and the story was a totally intense read on so many fronts. There was Dustin charged with supplying the explosives for the bomb, Jamie who is trying desperately to defend her friend, Travis, Dustin’s business partner who is spending all of his time with his wife Chrystal, who is dying of cancer and Taylor, the young woman who walked away from the explosion but who is suffering from the loss of her two best friends there. The emotions were deep in this exploration of domestic terrorism, desperation and loss of freedom. I did not really relate to any of the characters since I have never suffered as they have, but all of them were well-developed and three-dimensional. I cried with Taylor over the loss of her friends. I sobbed at the Chrystal’s bedside, knowing that her death would mean two toddlers would be motherless. I was at the edge of my seat when Dustin was arrested and when Jamie was working hard to exonerate him. The entire book was breathtakingly realistic and scary good! I would highly recommend this novel to anyone who enjoys a fantastic romantic suspense thriller. The tale of the aftermath following a disaster and all of the people who are affected was compelling and an excellent addition to any library. Disclaimer Disclosure of Material Connection: I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher via Netgalley. I was not required to write a positive revew. The opinions expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255, “Guides Concerning the Use of Testimonials and Endorsements in Advertising.”

The genre is Christian fiction so there is no bad language or explicit sexual scenes. However, since the content is about a bomb in a public arena, readers should be aware that certain scenes could be disturbing. Rated PG-13.

BIO: Terri Blackstock is a New York Times and USA Today best-seller, with over seven million books sold worldwide. She is the winner of two Carol Awards, a Christian Retailers Choice Award, and a Romantic Times Book Reviews Career Achievement Award, among others. She has had over twenty-five years of success as a novelist. Terri spent the first twelve years of her life traveling in an Air Force family. She lived in nine states and attended the first four years of school in The Netherlands. Because she was a perpetual “new kid,” her imagination became her closest friend. That, she believes, was the biggest factor in her becoming a novelist. She sold her first novel at the age of twenty-five, and has had a successful career ever since.

In 1994 Terri was writing romance novels under two pseudonyms for publishers such as HarperCollins, Harlequin, Dell and Silhouette, when a spiritual awakening prompted her to switch gears. At the time, she was reading more suspense than romance, and felt drawn to write thrillers about ordinary people in grave danger. Her newly awakened faith wove its way into the tapestry of her suspense novels, offering hope instead of despair. Her goal is to entertain with page-turning plots while challenging her readers. She hopes to remind them that they’re not alone, and that their trials have a purpose.

Terri has appeared on national television programs such as “The 700 Club” and “Home Life,” and has been a guest on numerous radio programs across the country. The story of her personal journey appears in books such as Touched By the Savior by Mike Yorkey, True Stories of Answered Prayer by Mike Nappa, Faces of Faith by John Hanna, and I Saw Him In Your Eyes by Ace Collins.

Bio and photo from author’s official website at

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Many thanks to Thomas Nelson Publishers for the ARC to read and review. You will really want to read this awesome story that teaches a lesson and entertains at the same time!

Review of WHEN A STRANGER COMES TO TOWN, Edited by Michael Koryta

This was a stellar collection of short stories by some really famous authors like Dean Koontz and Lisa Unger. I don’t usually review anthologies because I don’t usually read them, but this one spoke to me because it came from the Mystery Writers of America and it promised to introduce me to authors new to me. Wow! The promise was fulfilled and now I have a list of authors to look for in novel-length books. Any author who can write a short story and capture my attention as this group of stories did has a “tip of the hat” from me because I have not read a collection of short stories since high school and that was required reading. I was absolutely mesmerized by these stories, most of which were spooky, scary and page turners. This collection reminded me of the Alfred Hitchcock collections that I used to read, in a really good way. Some stories were short, others were fairly long but they all promoted the theme that is in the title. Strangers can be a new person in town, at your door or a new neighbor. The book was relatable, with excellent characterization even in the format of short stories. I had my favorites, but I will keep mine a secret and let you choose your own. So many good ones to choose from! In fact, I was sad when I read the last story. Fans of anthologies with a mystery or suspense involved will devour this collection and want more from the next collection.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher via Netgalley. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255, “Guides Concerning the Use of Testimonials and Endorsements in Advertising.”

Some of the stories are pretty scary in a “gotcha” kind of way, so I would rate this book a PG-13. Also includes expletives which are widely used in some stories more than in others.

Available tomorrow, April 20, 2021!

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The list of writers includes: S.A. Cosby, Amanda Witt, Alafair Burke, Smita Harish Jain, Michael Connelly, Jaqueline Freimor, Dean Koontz, Joe R. Lansdale, Emilya Naymark, Lisa Unger, Bryan Quertermous, Tilia Klebenov Jacobs, Lori Roy,Paul A. Barra, Michael Kortya, Elaine Togneri, Jonathan Stone, Steve Hamilton, Attica Locke, Tina Debellegarde, and Joe Hill.


God Is Our Help

Every day, there is more bad news. Another criminal shot and more riots. A President who is seemingly unaware of the chaos he is allowing at our border. A pandemic still raging and vaccines with heavy prices to pay if you take them and if you don’t. It’s all bad news. But the good news is the promise that God is always our refuge, always our strength, always the one to whom we turn. Nothing that is happening has caught God by surprise. He’s still there, caring for His people.

I look at everything happening and I say, “But God…” I guess I’m really questioning my own faith at times. Where is God when all this is happening? Still there, still quietly waiting for all of us to acknowledge Him and ask for His wisdom and guidance and protection.

Andrew Murray: “Beware in your prayers, above everything else, of limiting God, not only by unbelief, but by fancying that you know what he can do.”

This quotation, along with the Scripture, spoke to my heart this morning. We don’t want to limit God by thinking that we know what He can and is doing. We cannot see all of His work, but we do know that He is still working on our behalf. We cannot imagine all that God can do, even if we tried. It is in our limited scope of mind that we try to think about solutions. It is our Infinite God who has the solution.

I listened to a song during my devotional this morning. It is by Steven Curtis Chapman, the last artist that I went to see before my stroke. Now, I cannot go to concerts because somehow loud noises reverberate in my brain and I have to wear noise-cancelling headphones frequently in loud settings. Anyway, that being said, SCC is still one of my favorite Christian musicians and one of his latest songs spoke to my heart, especially today. Everything is God’s. Everyone is God’s. With that in mind, it is easier to pray for our nation, its people, its unrest and its sinfulness. God is aware and is working, maybe openly or behind the scenes, but He is always working.

Yours by Steven Curtis Chapman

“When you feel lonely and wonder where God is, know that He is about you, above you, after you, amidst you, around you, among you, before you, behind you, beneath you, beside you, beyond you, by you, for you, inside you, near you, and over you. He is everywhere, all the time. Always and forever, He is near us.” From Devotional: “Good News: Encouragement for a World in Crisis.”

“When fear knocks on your door, let faith answer.” -Joyce Meyer

Blessings today and every day for a faith that faces fear, knowing that God is always there for you.