Wednesday, December 28, 2016

The Woman at the Well Spotlight

Are you ready for a rigorous spiritual bootcamp? This 4-week intensive Bible Study is about a journey of self discovery. One that will incite and ignite something amazing and wonderful in you. This is the story of how one person's transformation can create a massive wave of change for Jesus Christ in the world.

Buy the Bible Study:  Amazon
Buy the Leader Guide: Amazon
Rachel was born in Dayton Ohio to a already large family of 5. She was the baby of the family, and literally about killed her Mother on her entrance into the world. Rachel was the 5th child to a school teacher and truck driver and soon found herself as a child of a single Mom of 5 who was forced to work 3 jobs to support her children. So Rachel is no stranger to seeing and living what it means to be a virtuous woman, as she watched her Mother do it, and continue to do it. Rachel is a devoted wife, Mother of 4 and Founder of Women at the Well Ministries. She is an author and currently writing her first in-depth Bible Study. She has been the keynote speaker at Mother’s of Israel conference, and several of her local church’s women’s events.

Her passion is studying scripture and then teaching those lessons to others, with the goal that they will then turn around and pay it forward. Her #each one #teach one philosophy is her mission. She is passionate about helping women by giving them tools to help them break strong holds so they can pursue whatever the Lord has for them. So, training them up for the call! That is what spurred her ministry.

She knows that God didn’t create women to just sit around and get pedicures and swap recipes and tackle the dust bunnies everyday, but to be side by side with the men in fighting the war against evil and taking as many people to heaven with them as possible.
She now does life with her best friend, her husband Curt and will tell you, her children are the best kids on the earth. They love to do Bible studies together and love traveling with their family.

If she isn’t at home with her family, you will find her checking something off her bucket list! Her biggest so far would be competing in figure competitions, competing at the Arnold class in fitness, being in a beauty pageant representing her county as Mrs. Miami County in the Mrs. Ohio America pageant, and authoring a 30 day bible study devotional. And, she is only getting started.

She loves to weave her own personal stories in with her message, because she believes she is living her calling day by day, and sometimes it gets pretty funny!

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Monday, December 26, 2016


Author Nancy J. Alexander dedicates the first installment of her Elisabeth Reinhardt series to various individuals including her cousins, editor, audio version reader, grandniece, and her patients, the last group being of prime importance since psychiatry and psychology form key cornerstones throughout this novel. Gina, a successful doctor, has somewhat had a life of misery and abuse, although she finds herself thrown back into that kind of life, assisted by a fellow therapist with issues of her house in a game of being chased.

Opening the book are maps of the Raines farmstead and a map of the eastern portion of the United States to show the locations of crimes committed, with States in the vicinity that did not experience crimes, including Indiana and Maryland. The map indicates that the novel’s crimes occurred in the States of Virginia, West Virginia, Ohio, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, and Tennessee. The story opens with a girl hiding beneath a haystack, quickly following with a hospital nursery noise from infant wails.

Another early chapter opens with a woman waking from a nightmare, one of the reasons she decides to see a therapist, with the narrative making the interesting decision to show patient progress forms between a few chapters to indicate how well the patient, Gina Reynolds, progresses mentally throughout the book’s timeframe, and a few sections too have lists of murders and kidnappings perpetrated by the chief antagonists. Overall, this is an enjoyable thriller, although it does make some odd decisions such as opening a few chapters with pronouns without first indicating the person to whom they’re referring, and one section even censors the o in “God.”

Regardless of these issues, it’s very much a worthwhile read.

Love of the mystery/thriller genre combines with psychotherapy training and experience to produce an emotionally supercharged dramatic novel. Nancy Alexander has devoted much of her professional life to helping survivors of childhood trauma; their distress has been ingrained and works to create characters who give voice to their plight. To analyze the evil minds that prey on others and the intricacies of law enforcers who pursue them seemed a natural interlacing of professional, literary and creative interests.

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Thursday, December 22, 2016


This is the fourth book in a series by author Chuck Barrett featuring protagonist Jake Pendleton, with brief synopses of the previous three installments before the main text, perfect for those who haven’t read them such as this reviewer. In The Savannah Project, Pendleton investigates a plane crash. In its sequel The Toymaker, he investigates the maker of equipment for spies, and in the book’s immediate predecessor Breach of Power, an old journal from the Second World War is found in a glacier. The writer dedicates the fourth installment to his wife Debi, also one of his editors.

In the latest installment of the novelist’s tetralogy, Jake Pendleton, a former Naval Intelligence Officer who is now a secret operative, he races to stop a cyberterrorist that aims to make the world’s technology unusable. Pendleton teams up with his friend Francesca Catanzaro to track down their sole lead, a hacker in Italy codenamed The Jew. Disruption is the codename of the potential chaos the black-hat hackers intend to create with their electronic terrorism. However, once they reach their lead’s Roman flat, their search turns up nothing, and they follow a group of cadavers across Europe.

During their crusade, Pendleton and Catanzaro discover a possible link between recent hacks and the disappearance of an airliner from Malaysia, with the two racing against the clock to put an end to the ambitions of the cyberterrorists. Overall, this is an engaging, thrilling read that those who enjoyed the book’s predecessors will likely enjoy, and the synopsis of previous novels is perfect for those that wish to dive straight into the fourth entry. There are some rehashed elements such as the investigation of an airliner, but otherwise, this thriller is very much worth a look.

Chuck Barrett is the bestselling author of the Award-Winning Jake Pendleton series—Breach of Power, The Toymaker, and The Savannah Project, as well as his latest award-winning blockbuster, BLOWN, the first book in his new Gregg Kaplan series.

In addition to writing thrillers, Barrett speaks and conducts workshops at book festivals, book clubs, reading groups, writers conferences, and writers groups. Some of his topics include Nuts & Bolts of Self-Publishing based on his book—Publishing Unchained: An Off-Beat Guide To Independent Publishing—as well as, Blueprint for a Successful Book Launch, Getting from ‘Idea’ to ‘Finished Manuscript,’ Mysteries & Thrillers: Fact or Fiction, and Adding the “What if” in Storytelling.

Barrett is a graduate of Auburn University and a retired air traffic controller. He also holds a Commercial Pilot Certificate, Flight Instructor Certificate, and a Dive Master rating. He enjoys fly fishing, hiking, and most things outdoors. He and his wife, Debi currently reside in Colorado.

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Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Life Outside the Box Spotlight

This second edition offers new content added to each and every chapter - personal author reflections from behind the scenes.

Get inspired to step out of your box and embrace your potential. From the corporate world, to the arts, to working with the disenfranchised, the message is clear: there is no such thing as a normal way to live your life and no one right solution to any problem. Selected from over a hundred interviews, the stories shared here open a window on the journeys of seven women and three men who have charted their own paths, including Ruthie Davis--top US luxury shoe designer and the winner of the 2014 AAFA Footwear Designer of the Year award; and Geir Ness whose perfume is a staple in Nordstrom, Disney World, and on Disney Cruise Lines. Enjoy a glimpse behind the scenes into the unique ways these individuals have chosen to deal with life's challenges and how they define success in their careers.

Buy the Book:  Amazon  ~   Barnes & Noble

Marilyn R. Wilson is a freelance writer and speaker with a passion for interviewing. Her career as a writer began in an unusual way, by answering a Craigslist ad. It was while conducting her first interview the world shifted - she had found her passion. Since 2006, she has interviewed over 150 people from as near as her hometown of Vancouver, Canada, and as far away as South Africa.

​Whether through a random encounter on the New York subway or via a one-on-one interview with an internationally recognized artist, the goal is the same-to give wings to the unique journeys of inspiring individuals. This goal first led the author to co-launch a successful, innovative magazine focused on professionals working in the fashion industry paired with photography and illustrations by local artists. Then in 2015, Wilson took her passion to a new audience with the release of her first book, the first in a series featuring the lives of real people living real lives.

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Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Silence Interrupted Spotlight

Two months before Troye Saavedra’s senior year of high school, his father’s drinking problem skyrockets. When Troye’s parents make an impulsive move to Georgia in order to “help” him finish high school on a positive note, he is forced to leave behind everything he knows. Things couldn’t get worse for Troye. That is, until he meets three enigmatic teenagers: Adelaide, an independent violinist with radical ideas; Zaidan, fiercely loyal and always funny; and Arabella, a girl who harbors secret struggles. Together, the four friends try to pick up the jagged pieces of their lives without getting hurt themselves. An insightful tale of perseverance, Silence Interrupted is a young adult novel about the beauty and peril of traversing the world as a teenager.

Buy the Book:  Amazon

Sania Shaikh is a junior at Cambridge High School. Inspired to write from a young age, she worked on Silence Interrupted, her debut novel, starting in eighth grade.

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Monday, December 12, 2016

No Good Deed Left Undone

Though the second installment in author Ginny Fite’s Sam Lagarde mystery series, one can mercifully read it without any knowledge of its predecessor. The book revolves around the murder of Grant Wodehouse, murdered through a pitchfork stabbing, with many believing he got his just desserts, given his sexual experiences. The writer acknowledges friends, her sons, and artists in the production of her novel, and dedicates the second entry to her husband David. Before the main text is a quote from Buddhist monk Shantideva stating that suffering comes from a personal desire to be happy, and that happiness comes from a desire for others to be happy.
The main events open on October 12 at 8:15 am, with investigator Sam Lagarde investigating the murder, although the story occasionally goes back in time, for instance, in the second chapter, where Grant Wodehouse is still alive, considering himself lucky in spite of troubles with his son and law firm. Lagarde interviews others such as Grant’s wife Emma Wodehouse, with a few suspects such as John Knowles and Elaine Tabor. Augmenting the evidence is the displacement of a horse named Paul some ten miles from its home, with Grant’s son Kyle in hiding for various reasons, and oversleeping.
The novel ends on October 16 in the afternoon, with the mystery having a satisfactory conclusion, and the culprit in Grant Wodehouse’s murder being crystal clear. As this reviewer mentioned before, one can enjoy this suspense story without having read its predecessor, and reading the sequel first very much whets this writer’s appetite to want to read said predecessor. There are some occasional unusual elements such as Paul being a bit of an asinine equine name, but even so, fans of the mystery literary genre will definitely find satisfaction in this engaging yarn, the book highly recommended overall.
Ginny Fite is an award-winning journalist who has covered crime, politics, government, healthcare, art and all things human. She's been a spokesperson for a governor and a member of Congress, a few colleges and universities, and a robotics R&D company. She earned degrees from Rutgers University and Johns Hopkins University and studied at the School for Women Healers and the Maryland Poetry Therapy Institute. No Good Deed, published by Black Opal Books in 2015, is her second Sam Lagarde mystery/thriller set in Charles Town, West Virginia.

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Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Dreaming Sophia

This realistic fiction novel, narrated by character Sophia Loren, is dedicated to the author’s parents and husband, who in her words inspired her creativity and “gave her wings to fly,” with an initial illustration depicting the protagonist surrounded by Italian luminaries such as Michelangelo, and history playing a significant role in the book. The novel is further divided into parts reflecting a portion of history, the first being antiquity, referring to classical civilizations. Tragedy strikes early on in the death of the protagonist’s parents, with Sophia contemplating several courses of action, mentioning that her mother had studied art in Italy.

The second section references medieval art, which the author indicates became less realistic after the devastating Black Death, and where Sophia returns to Philadelphia to finish her Master of Fine Arts degree, ultimately moving to Italy in further pursuit of her studies. The third part references the early Renaissance, where artists broke free from the restrictions of the medieval era, and indicates that Sophia didn’t have a great track record when it came to relationships, although finding out a truth about her mother’s past somewhat encourages her to seek love again.

The following section alludes to the Golden Renaissance, where the philosophy of humanism influenced the arts, and where Sophia executes her creative skill in drawing outdoor scenery. The next part involves the baroque period, which involved complex artistic emotions, and where the narrator becomes a teacher, introducing students to Florence. Next is the rococo period, where art became more graceful than in previous artistic epochs, where the protagonist celebrates Christmas and the new year in Florence. The Venetian Renaissance follows, which involved the heightened popularity of oil painting started in Venice, and where Sophia becomes intimate with an Italian man named Lorenzo.

The final section of the novel references modern art, the author indicating that this period lasted from the 1860s to the 1970s, and during which Sophia solidifies her relationship with Lorenzo. Overall, this is a satisfying, often education read, with some introduction to Italian language phrases and history of luminaries from the country, although it could have very well gone on for at least one more section, given the lack of explanation of an artistic period beyond the ‘70s, and there are occasional incongruities such as the pleonastic use of “from whence” where simply “whence” would have sufficed. Even so, this reviewer would very easily recommend this story.
Melissa Muldoon is the Studentessa Matta-the crazy linguist! In Italian, "matta" means "crazy" or "impassioned". Melissa has a B.A. in fine arts, art history and European history from Knox College, a liberal arts college in Galesburg, Illinois, as well as a master's degree in art history from the University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana. She has also studied painting and art history in Florence.

Melissa promotes the study of Italian language and culture through her dual-language blog, Studentessa Matta ( Melissa began the Matta blog to improve her command of the language and to connect with other language learners. It has since grown to include a podcast, "Tutti Matti per l'Italiano" and the Studentessa Matta YouTube channel. Melissa also created Matta Italian Language Immersion Tours, which she co-leads with Italian partners in Italy.

Dreaming Sophia is Melissa's first novel. It is a fanciful look at art history and Italian language and culture, but it is also the culmination of personal stories and insights resulting from her experiences living in Italy, as well as her involvement and familiarity with the Italian language, painting, and art history.

As a student, Melissa lived in Florence with an Italian family. She studied art history and painting and took beginner Italian classes. When she returned home, she threw away her Italian dictionary, assuming she'd never need it again but after launching a successful design career and starting a family, she realized something was missing in her life. That "thing" was the connection she had made with Italy and the friends who live there. Living in Florence was indeed a life-changing event! Wanting to reconnect with Italy, she decided to start learning the language again from scratch. As if indeed possessed by an Italian muse, she bought a new Italian dictionary and began her journey to fluency-a path that has led her back to Italy many times and enriched her life in countless ways.
Now, many dictionaries and grammar books later, she dedicates her time to promoting Italian language studies, further travels in Italy, and sharing her stories and insights about Italy with others. When Melissa is not traveling in Italy, she lives in the San Francisco Bay Area. She is married and has three boys and two beagles.

Melissa designed and illustrated the cover art for Dreaming Sophia. She also designed the Dreaming Sophia website and created the character illustrations that can be found in the book and on the Dreaming Sophia websites.

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Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Falling for the Stars Spotlight


This Behind-the-Scenes Tell-All About Doubling for Celebrity Superstars Also Reveals the Compelling Life Story of an Insecure Hollywood Arrival Who Rises to the Top of Her Field, But Pays a Hefty Price.
  • Addiction
  • Chauvinism  
  • Big Egos collide with the surprising kindness of superstars.

Discover the magic and the tragic stories of many great films & TV shows through the eyes of a stuntwoman. Dalton reveals what it took to hang over cliffs, get hit by a moving car, drop from five stories up, dodge an avenue full of speeding cars--and to ignore the Universe's more gentle prompts that it was time to quit and follow her passion into acting full-time or teaching acting.
The resulting career-ending spinal injury has a story of its own, how she researched medical and alternative paths that form the heart of what she shares with the world today. "What stands out in this book is the indomitable spirit the author has, despite the extraordinary price she paid for her stellar career--including misogyny, a miscarriage, and a life-long back injury. And each juicy story she relays in her fascinating chronicle, brings home an important life lesson for the reader--one that she learned the hard way.

  • Stunt Gal Lisa Dalton tattles about humorous and harrowing tales culled from over 200 films, television shows and commercials including
  • Ghostbusters
  • Money Pit
  • Crocodile Dundee
  • Married to the Mob
  • FX
  • Legal Eagles
  • The Last Dragon
  • Saturday Night Live  
  • Splash
  • The Highlander
  • World According To Garp

Working with or doubling such superstars as Meryl Streep, Cher, Madonna, Grace Jones, Robert Redford, Katherine Hepburn, Sean Connery, Tom Hanks, Chevy Chase, Robin Williams, Ed O'Neill, Michelle Pfeiffer and more.

From a bullied, dyslexic, messy, freckle-faced, klutzy pixie, Lisa Loving Dalton grew into a statuesque and skillful stuntwoman, actor, director, teacher, author, filmmaker, leadership and life coach, and ceremonial minister. Always seeking and finding the silver lining, she has made the most of whatever life threw at her. She says, “I spill stuff, trip and drip all of the time so I made a career out of it. My advice: Embrace what is as perfect.”
Dalton appeared in more than 200 films, television shows and commercials in New York, Hollywood and Texas, including work in Ghostbusters, Money Pit, Crocodile Dundee, Married to the Mob, FX, Legal Eagles, and Splash on the big screen and ER, HBO’s Carnivale, Dr. Quinn and Melrose Place among her many TV credits.

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