Chivalrous

by Dina Sleiman

Dina has knocked it out of the park again! Following Allen’s heartbreak, in book one of the Valiant Hearts series, he decides to strike out on his own. Recently being knighted and wanting to make a good impression, he signs up to joust in the upcoming festival of Edendale.

Gwendolyn is all rough and tumble and nothing of the prissy lady that she is supposed to be. Her parents try to put her in a box of feminism to which she vehemently rebels. She wants nothing of marriage and being held back.

Of course, we have the beautiful making of a true love story with lots of awesome girl power! Dina is the queen of girl power and I love it! Depth, adventure and lots of fun. I highly recommend it. It’s written as a YA novel, but I think it’s fun for all ages.

Thank you, Dina and Bethany House, for this great read! As always, this is my honest opinion. Here’s to many more!!

If you would like to see my fun face-off with Dina, just click HERE!!

Face-Off with Zachary Bartels!!

Zachary is the author of multiple critically acclaimed suspense thrillers. His newest release, The Last Con, is a finalist for the prestigious Carol Award! Can’t wait to see what happens!!!biopic

Check out his latest!! Links are in the pics.

Zachary is a pastor, blogger, author, husband and father. Sounds like a lot of work to me…Let’s see what he can bring to the table, shall we? But, before we start, this is for you, Zachary. (and I’ve gotta say that it’s probably the worst movie clip of all time…)


PicCollageWe both look like bugs.

The rules are simple. I ask Zachary some random questions. He replies and then I give my answers. Each winning answer is worth one point and I get to decide whose answer is better.

It’s my blog.

Here we go!

1. Have you ever hit an animal while driving? If so, what did you do?

Zachary – No, I have not. I love all animals (except mosquitoes, who should all suffer horribly and die a coward’s death!) and I am perhaps the world’s best precision driver (at least in my own mind), despite how often my wife works the ‘invisible brake’ while I’m at the wheel. The only time my driving dips down below mind-blowing is when I’m kind of overwhelmed with awe at how amazing it is, which causes me to lose focus for just a second in a sort of fishtail of irony…but then I steer into said metaphorical skid and begin driving amazingly again. I imagine (seriously, I imagine it frequently) that if a large animal were to run out in front of me, I would pull a Dukes of Hazzard over that sucker and land cinematically on the other side.635713579229865733-XXX-ZX37507-d-dukes-hazzard-mov- Also, my horn would magically become the General Lee’s horn.  And I would have John Schneider’s hair.

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Wait… what was the question?

Charity – Oh my stars. I don’t remember the question. The Dukes of Hazzard had nothing on The A-Team and their mad van jumping skills. I mean, think about it. The could build an entire vehicle in 15 minutes. AND, in every episode there was a car explosion, AFTER WHICH, the people miraculously climbed out of the car.  I mean, come on. That’s precision combat right there.

— huh?!

Charity 1 / Zachary 1

2. Do you go Black Friday shopping?

Zachary – Oh, heck yes! I actually love crowds, unlike anyone else in my family. We usually crash at my parents’ or my in-laws’ house on Thanksgiving night (because they live a ways away) and then I drag people with me — against their will — in the morning, because I don’t like hunting for deals by myself. But I also don’t like getting up super-early, so by the time we leave the house all the good deals are over and the good merch is gone.

Charity – Nice!! We are definitely Black Friday peeps. In fact, I think it is our favorite day of the year. It’s such a joyous occasion to be trapped in small buildings with thousands more than the fire code legally allows. One year, we were just doing our thing at Target…trying to wedge past people to get to the good “merch” when, out of nowhere, some psycho (let’s just call her Annie Wilkes) starts shopping out of our cart. She totally grabbed a bunch of our goods and took off. hahaha. We were just dying laughing because, that’s really all you can do so you don’t go postal in those situations. It was funny to see her running with our stuff under her arms.

— Again, we are both too cool for school.

Charity 2 / Zachary 2

3. What was your favorite song/band from your high school years?

Zachary – If you had asked me in high school, I would have used the question as an opportunity to plug my own garage band “(couch.)” (with the parentheses and period; those are part of the name).  We were a sort of prep-punk-rock wannabe. In reality, though, my favorite band was MxPx and my favorite song was called “Want Ad.”  Or was it “Missing You” by Value Pac? Wait, forget all that. My favorite song was Jesus Freak, as it is twenty years later and it’s still my ring tone. (Also here’s a link to a video of my then-five-year-old performing it as special music in church with a little help from me and his mom). Yeah, I have to say DC Talk was ultimately my favorite, in that I still hope to somehow finagle a hang with all of them before I die. It’s not looking really good at this point…although, through my buddy Cliff Graham,  I’ve got Kevin Max following me on Twitter, so I’m like 1% there.

Charity – Oh man! I love his little “whoop whoop”s in that! So cute! You can go wrong with a long crotch scratch during a song in front of church either. Oh man! Kids are awesome!!!

I loved MxPx. I like NoFX too. All those great, punk bands. My favorite song of high school days was…I am going to totally embarrass myself here.

— I can’t really compete with your little man singing Jesus Freak! I do wish he would have sang the “silly” version though…

Charity 2 / Zachary 3

4. So [Or you could go with “speaking of which,” as it segues nicely, no?], tobyMac is like 50 years old. No joke. Do you have the energy or talent to jump around stage and do back flips while rapping?

Zachary – Yes. Let me explain. This shrine is located in my basement:

HHL0oA5Pj1p2pbCwTx9wbkhK2i6ashsZbgKqDZqiEqMmFaBqrvDqCluM2z3tCr9JtWfpJNpNhK4Rauk-CfI9xWRdZaXjnyQLcjy8lukH5LkLbbgavgxBlEluGJ2D4-VFvjDqBL9rPMgU3k0ZcOsWXjw1BMx-z53jC25UxiJMUxBO9KzMUdmaezFGZL5lgRozQLbm9lgK8aCIjnS2U2lY2jRxkIS70A4Xi

That’s literally 25 years of Jolt Cola represented there.

Charity – Um, never heard of Jolt Cola. Looks….like something that DOES belong in your basement. And, I am insanely impressed if you can pull off some tobyMac moves.

It is my policy in life to never exert myself. So, I don’t.

— Jolt Moonshine gets that one!

Charity 2 / Zachary 4

5. Ever broken any bones?

Zachary – I’ve never had a cast, but I have freakishly wide feet, such that my second-smallest toe is where a normal person’s little toe would be, and then my little toe is hanging way out there, waiting to snag any and all furniture, walls, toys, whatever may be lurking in the dark. Both of my little toes have been broken many, many times over and are now just sad, battered little nubs of pain and regret.

Charity – Whyy!!!?????? Why did you have to bring that up?!?!

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Last year I had an…incident. It was a clean break. Caught my toe on the side of my desk and it totally tore through the entire bone. AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!! I had surgery, got a pin in it, waited a few weeks to get the pin out. THE. DAY. AFTER. I. GOT. THE. PIN. OUT. I. DID. THE. SAME. THING. TO. THE. SAME. TOE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

— I win because I have pictures.

Charity 3 / Zachary 4

6. Worst pick-up line?

Zachary – When I first asked my wife out, it was 1995 and she was fifteen and I was seventeen. Actually, I didn’t ask her out. I just said, “So we’re doing something Friday.” Come to think of it, that was my best pick-up line because we got married five years later. I (wisely) haven’t used any pick-up lines since then.

Charity – Nice!!! Right to the point! My oldest son, a few years back, thought one of my friends was pretty. When she came over one day, he walked past her and dropped a sugar packet on the ground. He picked it up and handed it to her saying, “Hey! You dropped your name tag”. I was impressed. hahaha

— Your’s won you the girl!

Charity 3 / Zachary 5

7. Best crime/action show on tv?

Zachary – Best of all time? Easy: Breaking Bad. It’s not technically on TV anymore, but it’s on my TV frequently. Also, Better Call Saul is one of the most tightly-written things I’ve ever encountered. Oh, and Marvel’s Daredevil blew me away. Remember when people thought Netflix would kill TV? They were sort of right, except that it did it by raising everyone’s standards to the point that regular TV all seems just…sad.

Charity – Daredevil is really good! I agree. However, I think that Blacklist wins for me. I love that show! So awesome. My hubs and I are watching The Killing right now. It’s really good too.

— Tie

Charity 3 / Zachary 5

8. How do you strive to bring God the most glory in your life?

Zachary – I like John Piper’s twist on the first question of the Westminster Shorter Catechism, which reads “What is the chief end of man? To glorify God and enjoy Him forever.” Piper said that we might paraphrase it, “To glorify God by enjoying him forever.” When I find my satisfaction in Him and Him alone and do everything (whether I eat or drink or whatever I do, I Cor 10:31) in a way that increases my gratitude, rather than in a way that vies for my allegiance and affection, I bring Him glory. Or, as Dr. Piper puts it, “God is most glorified in us when we are most satisfied in Him.”

Charity – I know those phrases well! My son is studying to be a pastor, so we have learned a lot about the Westminster Cat (too hard to finish writing it out). And…Come on, that quote by John Piper has to be our family mantra. Love that man!

— God. Wins!

Charity 3 / Zachary 5

9. Have you ever taken a ride in a cop car?

Zachary – No, but I just wrote a scene for a Parker Saint sequel, in which a detective takes a ride on top of of one!

Charity – Boo! Doesn’t count!

A friend of mine is a cop and I went on a “Ride Along”. They make it sound like you are a child when you go. Ride Along. Anyway, it was amazing. He’s a K-9 cop and so he  took me out into the woods and had me try to run and hide from his dog. AH!! Scariest thing ever!!!!! I thought I was going to die from a dog or a crooked cop that I thought was my friend and had me run into the woods in the pitch black of night while he sent his dog after me.

— I totally get that one.

Charity 4 / Zachary 5

10. Do you have any trophies? If so, what from? 

Zachary – Ummmm…

HHL0oA5Pj1p2pbCwTx9wbkhK2i6ashsZbgKqDZqiEqMmFaBqrvDqCluM2z3tCr9JtWfpJNpNhK4Rauk-CfI9xWRdZaXjnyQLcjy8lukH5LkLbbgavgxBlEluGJ2D4-VFvjDqBL9rPMgU3k0ZcOsWXjw1BMx-z53jC25UxiJMUxBO9KzMUdmaezFGZL5lgRozQLbm9lgK8aCIjnS2U2lY2jRxkIS70A4Xi

Charity – hmm. Fail. Unless, of course, I was right about what Jolt really is. Then that would count.

I have a trillion piano and drum trophies. You know. Because I was that good and took home 20 gold medals in our local piano olympics. Believe me, it’s not as cool as it sounds.

— Woot! I get it!

Final:

Charity 5 / Zachary 5

20130805_its_a_tie_ta WOO HOO!!!! Nice!!!!


ThCustom-Balloon-design-toolank you so much, Zachary! This has been a blast!

GUESS WHAT, GUYS?? This is incredible because he has offered to give away 3 BOOKS!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Two copies of The Last Con and a copy of  Playing Saint! (Pics and links above). Just head on over to a Rafflecopter giveaway and start entering!!!

*US Rez only (We do love the rest of you too!)
** Entries will be checked, so don’t get yourself disqualified with false entries…

No Place To Hide

by Lynette Eason

Suspenseful, Heart-Racing, Non-Stop Action! As Jackie’s childhood friend is plastered all over the TV with “Terrorist” and “Wanted by FBI” labels, she heads on over to his place to see what’s going on. Little does she know that this sets a chain of events into motion that will make them both part of the FBI’s most wanted list. As they race to prove their innocence, the government and the “bad guys” (as she refers to them) get closer and closer.

While this book was high action and kept me turning the pages, I felt like parts of it were really bogus. Of course, there will be elements of that in any action book or movie. So, that wasn’t enough to turn me off. I did enjoy the read and I liked the characters. They had depth and learned to trust God through the book. Overall, well written and would definitely read another in this series.

Thank you, Revell, for this great read! As always, this is my honest opinion. Here’s to many more!!