by Todd Gerelds
with Mark Schlabach

This amazing, true story shows us an inside look at desegregation and how it affected the lives of the Woodlawn High School students. It is told by the son of their late football coach, Tandy Gerelds. The story is set in the deep south during a time when there were still segregated pools, drinking fountains, doctors, and restaurant seating. When African-American students began attending “white” schools, they experienced cruel racism and and joining the football team was considered unacceptable.

We see the beautiful story of how God changed the lives of many students and how they came together in a common goal. It is so inspiring that it’s now a major motion picture! (It will be released in mid-October). I definitely recommend. Grab a copy for those football loving men in your lives!

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

Face-Off with Irene Hannon!!!

Today is exciting!! Irene Hannon has agreed to face-off with me!!!  Yes, that is correct! What a week, huh??? Let me see if I can recap the vast amount of awards her books have won!!!

https://i2.wp.com/www.lincolnlibraries.org/graphics/ritalogo.gif https://i2.wp.com/www.lincolnlibraries.org/graphics/ritalogo.gif + 6 Time Finalist!

https://i1.wp.com/upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/e/e3/Young_Daphne_du_Maurier.jpg Daphne du Maurier Award Screen shot 2015-04-23 at 11.10.41 AM Multi Christy Award Winner

https://i2.wp.com/www.margaretdaley.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/04/Carol-Award-Winner1.pngCarol Award Winner

Screen shot 2015-04-23 at 11.23.36 AM     and winner!

There are MANY MORE!!! If you would like to see all the awards and nominations, plus a complete book list, just CLICK HERE.

WHEW!! Wow! That’s all I have to say about that!!


hapzBbPl1fJ-OQBBGrZfbyU-40zEUdVF7nmCDbpMJbrvsiZmvmVbqZN6qvXPT6Yzpw0ORMhdM2XclEFwn3Wkvo4P825ms4bDpL1bD0Wzbk_sR0O8up-rRetXzQVW_xbGzG9qEO-5zrUKXjxdC4SfFbEujtwL48vWsQ4hfxuKWw09qO22iOpEtt2N94X2R9VKMAY3UeI6uzgnIDjivTHEyckA4eLkTotoLThe rules are simple: I ask Irene some random questions. She 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. If you had to play a sport professionally, which one would you choose?

Irene – Ice Dancing. I love the combination of grace, music and athletics.

Charity – Baseball! I love the green grass, the smell, the game!!!


Charity 0 / Irene 0

2. Have you ever been to a store where they look at you like you don’t belong in their “Fancy Pants” club and shouldn’t waste your time even looking?

Irene – Not that I recall…then again, I don’t frequent a whole of of high-end stores!

Charity – Ugh, me either, HOWEVER, I was shopping in Chicago one time and walked into this fancy, high end purse boutique. They looked at me like trash! ha ha. People are sitting around sipping champagne looking at me like I don’t belong. They didn’t know I was in the mode to find a bag and they had it. I didn’t buy it. Couldn’t bring myself to give them business EVEN if it would have been like, BOOYAH! to them!! ha ha (Don’t worry, hubby, when you read this. I wouldn’t have bought a $200 purse… 😮 )

–Taking it while I have a chance….I know too well how these things go!

3. Favorite major city in America?

Irene – St. Louis – my hometown. It has big-city amenities with small-town charm.

Charity – Ohhh! Sounds so lovely! I haven’t spent much time there. My brother-in-law got married there, but you know how those weekends go! There’s no time to see the sites…

I love Chicago. My husband grew up right outside of it in the suburbs. So, we go back to visit his mom and I LOVE LOVE LOVE it!! So beautiful!!! And the Magnificent Mile? A whole mile of shopping *sigh*

–Another tie!!

Charity 1 / Irene 0

4. Funniest birthday memory?

Irene – I don’t know about funniest…but one of my “funnest” was this year. My husband planned a whole day for just the two of us, including a ride on a carousel and a trip to the butterfly house!

Charity – *heart melting* I love super sweet, kind hubbies!! So rare and so precious. Mine would do something that thoughtful too. ❤

-Definitely Irene!!

Charity 1 / Irene 1

5. Have you ever been to Israel? If so, favorite place?

Irene – I’ve been a lot of places around the world, but haven’t made it there. Yet!

Charity – Oh!! I have! I have!! It’s so beautiful. I can’t even describe it!! Of course,  I went while in college, 20 years ago, so it was much different. They hadn’t lost so much land at that time. Such a beautiful place. Felt like home to my heart. Jerusalem was unbelievable. ❤

Of course, being college aged, I spent most of my time taking pictures with all the military guys standing around…

-I got another one!!!!!

Charity 2 / Irene 1

6. Do you have big Superbowl parties?

Irene – Nope. I am NOT a football fan!

Charity – *stuttering* Not sure what to say about that except:


Charity 3 / Irene 1

7. Do you play pranks on your family members?

Irene – Nope again. The golden rule and all that.

Charity – ha ha. I think that one got lost in translation…We are NEVER mean, but we do love a good laugh. We are always joking around here. It’s  a nut house!!

-Nice always wins!!

Charity 3 / Irene 2

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

Irene – By living every day, and doing every task before me, with as much grace and love and enthusiasm as I can, especially in the face of challenges and disappointments. As 1 Thessalonians 5:18 says: “in all circumstances give thanks, for this is the will of God for you in Christ Jesus.”

Charity – Love it! There are so many verses on thankfulness. In Philippians, it says to “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything, by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God and the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

Such a great reminder!!

–God always wins!!

Charity 3 / Irene 2

9. What kind of pudding is your favorite?

Irene – I’m not a fan of pudding – any flave. Chocolate mousse, however…different story!

Charity – Oh man! How can you not love pudding. *sigh* I love butterscotch and chocolate pudding SO MUCH!!! ahhhh!!!

Probably why there’s so much of me to love 😮

–I need to stop eating pudding.

Charity 3 / Irene 3

10. What’s your favorite song?

Irene – “Our Love is Here to Stay”. My husband and I danced to that at our wedding. You can never go wrong with a Gershwin classic!

Charity – Now, how am I supposed to compete with THAT????

-#LowBlow #LastMinuteWin


Charity 3 / Irene 4

This is how I feel! So close!!

Thanks, SO MUCH, Irene! What fun!!! Balloons-for-Birthday-Party

Guesssssss what, guys!!!!! Yep, you got it! A GIVEAWAY!!

Irene is giving away a paperback copy of her newest release: Buried Secrets! I am so excited!! I am reading this today and will be posting my review soon!!!!

All you need to do is head on over to: Buried Secrets and start entering!!!

*US Rez only! (We do love the rest of you too!)

*All Entries will be checked and any falsified entries will mean disqualification.

Face-Off with Kristy Cambron!!

I am super excited to introduce you all to Kristy Cambron today!! KC31 Most of you have probably heard of Kristy, or even read her books, but you’ll get to find out a whole lot more! I will be reviewing A Sparrow in Terezin later today, so start holding your breath!!

This awesome new author has beautiful books that are FLYING off the shelves!!

kristy's awards

Awesome? YES! But, let’s not get ahead of ourselves!! We will discuss her books later…Right now, we play!

Displaying PicCollage.jpg

The rules are simple: I ask Kristy some random questions. She 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. What’s the most annoying Christian phrase you can think of? (ie: Hedge of Protection)

Kristy – It’s not the phrases that annoy me — it’s when I don’t understand them and have to Google something in the middle of church. Try whipping out your phone in the great auditorium. I know people think I’m checking sports scores or shopping for shoes, but I’m really just trying to keep up sometimes! 🙂

Charity – I noticed one very important word in that sentence. “Sometimes”. Well played.

I can’t handle the weird Christian phrases. blech. “I’m so blessed” makes me feel nauseated!! I don’t know. It just sounds so odd. We aren’t people with a foreign language…we just love Jesus…

— Kristy is much nicer than I am.

Charity 0 / Kristy 1

2. Have you ever wanted a shirt that says, “I tithe online” when they are passing the basket at church?

Kristy – Nah. I much prefer tees with literary quotes vs. sarcasm. I’d wear my Wuthering Heights tee every day if people wouldn’t tease me about it.

Charity – Hmm. Well, I supposed it’s not so much sarcasm as the fact that we actually do tithe online!! So, I always feel awkward and judged  when we pass the basket. Self conscience much?!

— Kristy’s keeping it classy!

Charity 0 / Kristy 2

3. Taylor Swift fan? Why or why not?

Kristy – YES. Here’s your answer for that one:

Charity – Oh, nice! Now, how the heck can I compete with that???

— Getting a good ol’ southern butt whoopin’!!!

Charity 0 / Kristy 3

4. Best pick up line?

Kristy – “Hey — I hear it’s a truth universally acknowledged that a single man in possession of a good fortune must be in want of a wife. Care to find out if it’s true?” (Sorry – I don’t know much about pick-up lines. I met my husband when I was 17. He took me to my first NFL game and I was gone in love after that. No pick-up lines required. But I’d think a guy quoting Jane Austen would be a Chick magnet)

Charity – Ha! I don’t know about that….Sounds like a weenie to me!!! haha. I would probably be scared if he was quoting Jane! 😮

My son, when he was about 11, thought one of my friends was really pretty. So, he was all primed and ready. She showed up at the house one day and my son walked past her and dropped a sugar packet. He picked it up and handed it to her saying, “Hey! I think you dropped your name tag!”

— I win for having a cute child! ha!! 🙂

Charity 1 / Kristy 3

5. Do you have a panic attack when you accidentally leave your cell phone home?

Kristy – YES – I’ve turned around more than once when I was already in rush-hour traffic to go back and get it. I must have my phone so I can write chapters wherever I am. (Not while driving though. Let’s stay safe, people!) I write the first drafts of my books on my iPhone, so I can’t risk leaving it at home.

Charity – Well, I am right there with you. What the heck did we do when we were teenagers??? I didn’t even have a cell phone until I was out of college AND I WAS STILL one of the few that had one. It was GINORMOUS!

I am confused, however, how in the world you can stand typing the entire draft of a novel on your iPhone. I want to throw it against the wall when I have to type on it with my sausage fingers.

— Tie. iPhones are a must have at ALL times!

Charity 1 / Kristy 3

6. Have you ever raced a golf cart?

Kristy – YEP. My grandparents literally lived on Country Club Lane. They were addicted to the game and bought their Snow Bird condos according to where the best golf courses were. I learned to drive a golf cart almost before I could walk. (I think I won that question…)

Charity – shut up.

— You sure are BLESSED!

Charity 1 / Kristy 4

7. What’s the weirdest food that you like?

Kristy – My grandmother was German and made amazing, authentic German food. I apologize in advance for the little old ladies I’d knock out of the way at the Disney Epcot Biergarten German Buffet. Can’t be helped… I ❤ pork schnitzel, spätzle, sauerkraut, warm German potato salad and Bavarian cheesecake! (German food is my love language.)

Charity – 😮

— Uh, you can have it…

Charity 1 / Kristy 5

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

Kristy – I don’t know how to answer this one. All I can say is that I love Jesus. I want to know Him so much more. I want to serve Him. To tell others about Him. To dig into Scripture. (I started verse mapping at the beginning of Lent and it’s changed my life! I’m working through Acts right now and what I’m earning is just incredible.) I just keep thinking that He’s changed everything about my life in the last two years and I am so grateful that He’s using our family’s grief and loss for His good. If I can tell someone about that journey — and the Savior who has conquered death for them too — that’s a place of grace I want to be in every single day.

Charity – absolutely beautiful. That’s how I feel too. He wooed my heart and I’m IN LOVE!!! ❤

— God ALWAYS wins!

Charity 1 / Kristy 5

9. Have you ever been to Great Wolf Lodge?

Kristy – No. But I grew up around Cincy and went to King’s Island every summer. I even remember the awesomeness that was the Smurfs ride in the 1980’s. You can’t top that ride. 🙂

Charity – Hmm. I haven’t ever been there. I live near Busch Gardens, so I grew up going there. HOWEVER, Great Wolf Lodge is stinkin’ amazing! It’s like a cruise ship that you don’t get sea sick on! It’s its own little island…has Starbucks, Dominos, Buffets, etc… You never have to leave. Go to the waterpark and walk back to your room for a nap. Glorious.

— I believe the questions was “have you ever been to GWL” so… I WIN!

Charity 2 / Kristy 5

10. Does cheese give you the devil’s breath?

Kristy – Not sure. I am CRAZY about taking care of my teeth. I brush all the time. Floss a lot. Carry dental hygiene awesomeness in my handbag – regularly. If I was going to have cheese breath you wouldn’t get the chance to notice. I think it’s pretty Colgate minty.

Charity – Step Down. I’ve got this one. Here’s the proof:

One glorious Black Friday morning as my husband and I were out during our favorite day of the year (like 4:00am and we had already been shopping all night), a man was handing out cheese samples. I partook. As we were walking out to the car, my hubby kept complaining that they needed to clean out their dumpsters. No matter how far away we got from the mall, he would say, “Man! What in the world?! Those are the worst smelling dumpsters!!” I’m like, “I’ve got nothing. Not smelling it.” It finally became VERY apparent that the dumpsters were falsely accused.

This was not the last time the devil’s breath came upon me from cheese.

— Ol’ dumpster mouth wins!

Charity 3 / Kristy 5

—– Kristy’s Questions!! 😮

11. The greatest TV show of all-time?

Kristy – LOST. I may be a fan of the amiable and elegant Downton Abbey, and a crazed #OnceUponaTimeAddict , but LOST will always have my Sawyer-Jack-Dharma-polar-bear-Oceanic-Six-smoke-monster-The-Others-flash-forward-Not-Penny’s-Boat-“See  ya in another life, Brotha”-loving-heart. (LOST fans will get it.)

Charity – NICE! I do like LOST a lot. It was really good (except the crappy last season). But…I’m going to have to go with….Survivor! Yup!!! I also love Once Upon a Time, Blacklist, and Turn.

— tie!

Charity 3 / Kristy 5

12. How we decided on our kids’ names…

Kristy – By watching football games. (If you’re having a boy and you need a name — those games are golden for choices.) All of our boys are named after college/NFL players’ names from games we watched while I was pregnant.

Charity – AWESOME!! I love a good football kinda gal. My sons and I LOVE football. My husband, not so much.

However, my boys got their names very differently. I was a single mom before I got saved. I named my first born Benjamin (Son of my right hand) because I knew it would be me and him against the world.

Once I was married, my husband and I had another son and while I was pregnant, we were watching an episode of “Brat Camp” (a STUPID reality show where they send their bratty kids into the wilderness with these counselor guides to help them grow up). Anyway, one of the biggest “brats” was named Isaiah and we both were like, “I LOVE IT!”

— hahaha. Football is good, but….naming your child after the biggest “Brat” at “Brat Camp”? I’m taking it!

Charity 4 / Kristy 5 (Feel that? It’s me ABOUT TO PASS YOU!)

13. What’s your World-Champion-worthy talent that few people know of?

Kristy – I leave people in the dust while playing TCM classic movie trivia. If you’re betting, don’t raise me your car keys or you’ll be walking home. 🙂

Charity – I am sorry to say that I am about to be tied with you.

— Bam!!

Charity 5 / Kristy 5

14. What’s your worst habit?

Kristy – Thinking with a British accent. Yep. And then speaking with a fake British accent because you were thinking with one. This happens… All. The. Time. Cheers!

Charity – Oh my!! ha ha. Well, I think my worst is biting my nails… ew

— Tally Ho!

Charity 5 / Kristy 6

15. Would you rather go for a year without make-up -or- have to wear the same pair of shoes for a year?

Kristy – Sorry to my beloved heels… Chapstick alone wouldn’t get me through. I’d have to wear my Chucks for 365 days and smile with some cherry red lipstick while doing it. 🙂

Charity – AHHH! This is a HORRIBLE question!! If it wasn’t for my eyebrows, Displaying IMG_5938.JPG it would be a no brainer.

However, my eyebrows have decided that they should stop halfway across my eyes.

As you can clearly see, I need to draw those bad boys in! (and clean my make-up off better…obviously).

This is too hard! I’m totally torn.

I think…..

I’m going to have to go with the eyebrow halfsies so I can change up the shoes.

— Blah.

Charity 5 / Kristy 7

16. What’s your spirit animal?

Kristy – My favorite animal? The ever cute and well-dressed (in tuxedos!) penguins. But as for my true spirit animal? The Honey Badger. They may not look fancy, but those guys mean buisness at whatever they do. They’re absolutely fearless, wicked-smart, relentless… I love their tenacity. never give up on what you’re called to do in this life. Wow!

Charity – 😮

Girl, I have NO IDEA what language you are speaking. I think it’s that darned British coming out again!! hahahahahaha.

I don’t really like animals…so, there’s that.

— All. Yours!


Charity 5 / Kristy 8


Thanks SO MUCH, Kristy! I had a blast 🙂 Balloons-for-Birthday-Party I am looking forward to finishing up the book and getting my review written out!

UH OH!! UH OH!!! You guessed it as soon as you saw those balloons come out, didn’t you my smart, little readers!!!?? Kristy is giving away a signed copy of her newest book, A Sparrow in Terezin!!!

All you have to do is head on over to a Rafflecopter giveaway and start entering!!!

*Only U.S. Rez (We do love the rest of you too!!)

** All entries will be checked. Any falsified entries will be disqualified.


Jesus Without Borders: What Planes, Trains, & Rickshaws Taught Me About Jesus

by Chad Gibbs

Traveling all over the world so you can “research how people worship” is very clever. Well played, Chad! Well played.

This book had me hooked from the beginning. It is always interesting to see how other cultures worship God and live their lives. In America, for some reason, we always think we are the professionals of everything. However, Christianity has been practiced for years in other countries long before the good ol’ U.S. of A. ever existed.

Chad’s witty humor (yes, actually laughing out loud while reading a book is not very cool…I know), honesty and writing style have you “whipping through” this book. You’ll enjoy flipping the pages as well as learning a lot of new things about the world around us** (**Yes, there is a world outside of the Bible Belt of America).

5 Solid Stars! Pick it up for that friend of yours that loves travel, culture and a good laugh here and there. (Link is in the pic above). Thanks, netgalley and Chad Gibbs, for a copy of this book! As always, this is my honest opinion. Here’s to many more!!

Guess what?? balloonsChad is giving away 3 SIGNED COPIES of his new book! Click on this a Rafflecopter giveaway to win a copy!!

Remember, there are only two mandatory entries. The rest are just extras!! All entries will be checked and any falsified entries will be disqualified.

Good luck!!!

And for more fun, check out our awesome face-off. Want to find out if “Death by Skydiver squashing him” will be on his obits? How long between dentist visits?? War Eagle? What’s that?!