Saturday, April 23, 2016

Review: The Writer's Anointing by Londa Hayden

The Writer's Anointing
By Londa Hayden

Do you ever wonder if your writing will ever go anywhere? Does God really have a purpose for your passion? This book will help the writer within you realize your true anointing in Christ Jesus and how to walk in it. Don't give up on your writing endeavors until you read this book. Get equipped with practical tips and steps to take for a greater confidence in yourself, your God, and your dreams.

This book is really more of a booklet, about 3000 words, and a free download on SmashWords. However, I felt it was worth mentioning, as it covers the basics of Why do we Write, and is it a Calling?

From a Christian perspective, Londa recounts her own journey of faith into writing, and the questions she asked, which it would do well for those of us who are writers to consider.Spiritual and practical, this booklet is a good resource for the Christian considering stepping out on faith as a writer.

I gave it four stars.

About the Author

Londa Hayden is a native Texan, who attended East Texas Baptist University and pursued a major in music. Using her skills in music therapy both in public and private schools, she worked with special needs children of all ages. Her talent carried over into children's worship ministry. After being a stay at home mom for several years, she worked part-time in the medical field. Besides writing, Londa also enjoys arts, crafts, theater, movies and volunteering for humanitarian causes. She's contributed to a local Christian writer's newsletter and organizes workshops and retreats as the president of Bartlett Christian Writers. As the Memphis Christian Writer Examiner for three years, Londa featured interviews with local authors and offered advice corners from Christian publishing leaders such as Sally Stuart, Terry Whalin, James Watkins, and Dr. Dennis Hensley. Currently, she contributes as a staff writer for Southern Writers Magazine. She has published work in Devo, an Upper Room devotional magazine for teens, "Popcorn Boy," the winner of the Blog2inspire contest, and "Date Pray Wait" along with several anthologies. A fundraiser project "In the Savanna," and a free ebook to writers titled "The Writer's Anointing." She also has a Christmas Children's book series, Candy Moon, and the sequel, Candy Moon Choo Choo. "Where Two Rivers Meet" formerly titled "Jasmine in Bloom," came in as a Fraiser Finalist and released September 2015 with two sequels to follow in this Washington's Woods series. Today, she enjoys spending time with her three sons and living in beautiful Tennessee with her husband.

Learn more about Londa by visiting her website at

Review: Take Someone With You to Heaven by Carol Middlekauff

Take Someone With You To Heaven
By Carol Middlekauff

17676318Anyone can share their faith with others. That's the message Carol Middlekauff delivers in her account of the many divine appointments God has given her. You will be encouraged by her real-life stories and motivated by her challenge. -John Sorensen, President, Evangelism Explosion International

This book is a non-fiction collection of stories about Carol and her husband Chuck and their journey from being pew-sitters to evangelists. It's a God-story, how God can take anyone who is willing and use them to reach others for Christ. It's laid out as a responsive journal, giving the reader an opportunity to jot down names of people they can talk to about their faith, and moments when they were afraid to share. Carol relates the sequence of events that caused her and Chuck to come out of their comfort zone and do neighborhood door-to-door evangelism, missions work distributing food, gospel tracts, and hope, and jail ministries.

Carol is unsure how many people she has personally witnessed to, but her God-driven encounters involved gas stations, running trails, hospital visits, roadside assistance, and workplace sharing. There isn't an area of her life that has not involved being open to God's leading and eventually the sharing of the Good News.

Take Someone With You To Heaven is intended to take a believer, and gently nudge them out the door with a message that needs to be shared to a lost and dying world.

Here's a quote that clearly gives Carol's attitude and the good news about the Good News:
Life gives you things you have to do, things you want to do, and things you get to do. Sharing the hope of a Father in heaven who loves us and the promise of forgiveness in Jesus is one of those things you get to do. [emphasis mine].

There's a bit that is inferred. Some people in jail are there for very good reasons. There are many times my heart was in my throat about people Carol and Chuck stopped to share with, bracing myself for the responses from unbelievers. But there was no violence actually in the book.

Very clean.

Adult Content:
Squeaky clean.

Christian content:
This is a non-fiction book encouraging the reader to share the Gospel, and depicts many accounts of that activity. It is nothing but Christian content. :-)

Final analysis:
I'm not an evangelist by spiritual gift, and I've only presented the gospel a dozen or so times. I'm normally stuck in a Fantasy or Science Fiction book, but this book became an enthralling read as I shared in her joy of souls won to heaven literally anywhere. I found this book well-written, powerful, challenging, even convicting. I gave it five stars.

About the Author

Carol MiddlekauffBorn in Amarillo, Texas, Carol Middlekauff stands five feet tall, 110 pounds, with green eyes, chin-length gray hair, and glasses. Retired from the insurance business, she doesn't really look like a runner, a writer, or someone who might spend time in jail. And she isn't a preacher. She's just an ordinary person. But she and her (also ordinary) husband, Chuck, head out from their home in Austin, Texas, to share their faith as they go along--at the grocery store, on the running trail, by gas pumps, and in prisons and jails across the United States. 

Middlekauff received her teaching degree from the University of Texas. And she's an incurable writer and traveler. You may have seen her travel, profile, and insurance articles in publications such as American Cowboy, New Mexico, Rough Notes and other magazines, or the Dallas Morning News, Kansas City Star, Boston Herald, San Jose Mercury News, New Orleans Picayune, and other newspapers. As she began to write down some of the stories of the amazing things God does as she and her husband share their faith, those stories became a teaching book, Take Someone with You to Heaven.

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Review: The Ghost Box by Mike Duran

The Ghost Box
By Mike Duran

23573834Reagan Moon -- paranormal reporter, terminal underachiever, and staunch cynic of the human race. The only ghosts he really believes in are the ones in his own head.

But his world is about to get an upgrade.

When Moon is hired by a reclusive tycoon to investigate the events surrounding his girlfriend's tragic death, he learns of an impending apocalypse about to flatten Los Angeles. Seems that the Summu Nura, ancient gods from a parallel dimension, are looking for a new stomping ground. And Hollyweird is ground zero. What's worse, Reagan Moon is the only one who can stop them.

With the help of an occult archivist and a carefree guardian angel, Moon is forced to confront an invisible world of toxic parasites and dimensional outriders. But no amount of magic can save him from the monster that awaits… inside him.

From the first page of this pre-Apocalyptic thriller to the last, the wry wit and non-stop action kept me nailed to the pages. Characters such as Matisse the Mad Spaniard, 'Blondie' the not-so-mindless bodyguard and messenger, Bernard the guardian angel, and Jimmy the police detective, add life and breadth to this cross between Ghostbusters and Guardians of the Galaxy. Ok, that comparison might be reaching a bit.
There's a bit, and it can get graphic. It's not gratuitous, but some people end up dying in a pool of blood. One gets stabbed to death by a magic wand.

PG-13, I'd say. There are some expletives occurring sporadically about. The F-bomb is never used.

Adult Content:
PG. Romance is hinted at but never explored.

Christian content:
Belief seems to be a central theme to this book. What that belief is in, other than an afterlife, and angels, is not driven far. A central object in the story is a Tau, or T-shaped cross which a relic from early Christendom. There's nothing preachy about this book.

Final analysis:
A riveting read from cover to cover. Action, adventure, and humor abound. The mouthy sarcasm and wit of the main character remind me of Spidey. I found it very entertaining, and a bit uplifting. I gave it five stars.

About the Author

mike-15Mike Duran is a novelist, a blogger, and speaker, whose short stories, essays, and commentary have appeared in Relief Journal, Relevant Online, Rue Morgue magazine, Zombies! magazine, and other print and digital outlets. He is the author of the supernatural thriller THE RESURRECTION (Realms 2011) which was a finalist in the 2011 INSPY awards, SUBTERRANEA (Blue Crescent Press Oct 2012), and other novels and novellas.

He is an ordained minister and resides in SoCal with his wife and four grown children. You can read more about him at his website,