A Dangerous Legacy

by Elizabeth Camden


One thing that you can always know you’ll get when you pick up an Elizabeth Camden novel is history. I’m not talking about a time period, necessarily, but a lifestyle. You will learn so much about the era she chooses to write in. You will learn how they lived, worked and loved.

This time she takes us to the Turn of the Century. In a time of booming industry, factories, wires, and even plumbing, she intertwines a beautiful story. Of course, there is much more than that to it! You can count on love and intrigue. You’ll find deep characters that are easy to love (and some to hate!).

Be sure to pick up a copy of this new series! Link is above in pic. Thanks so much for this awesome book in exchange for my review. As always, this is my honest opinion. Here’s to many more!!


Be sure to check out our fun face-off here!


Her Secret

by Shelley Shepard Gray


Catching You Up: Amish farm girl, Hannah, is being stalked by an English boy that is in love with her. Her family must flee for her protection. With her siblings resenting her and her family going through another crisis, she must sort through her fears and learn to trust again.

My Thoughts: When I think of Amish, all I can think of is how “dark” the lifestyle is. I know it’s because I am a visual person and life without a lot of color is VERY SAD! One of the things I love about Shelley Shepard Gray is that she brings color out of their lifestyle. As strange as it sounds, reading her Amish fiction is the first time I can really connect with the characters.

This is a short and light read, but that does not take away from the content. Her characters are always well developed and complex. I am not usually surprised, but there was definitely some intrigue that got me! Well done, Shelley!!!

Need a great read for a flight? Something you can grab and go – pick up and put down without missing a beat? This is your story! I definitely recommend anything by this author. Make sure to pick up a copy! Link is in the pic above!!

Want to see Shelley Face-Off with me?

Click Below:


Face-off with Erin Healy!!

bio_picHello, Erin! I am super excited to have this fun lady here today. The cool thing is that her book, Hiding Places, was highlighted this month by Thomas Nelson and Zondervan’s The Fiction Guild. 

Erin is the bestselling co-author of Burn and Kiss (with Ted Dekker) and an award-winning fiction editor for numerous bestselling authors. She is the owner of WordWright Editorial Services, a consulting firm specializing in fiction book development, and she is a member of the American Christian Fiction Writers and the Academy of Christian Editors.

Let’s play!!!


The rules are simple. I ask Erin 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. Scariest “ghost” story or encounter? (Notice that “ghost” is in quotation marks so that people can interpret that as they will).

Erin – When I was a newlywed and my husband was out of town, I was working in our bedroom one night and our dog sat up and started growling at the corner of the room. There was nothing visible there–no spider, no bug, no shadow, nothing to explain it. Not even any disturbances outside. This went on for quite a long time. Long enough to make me stop my work and start praying and turn on every light in our little town home.

Charity – Oh my stars!!!! I would have had a heart attack!! When my sister and I were little, we both saw a skeleton in our closet with a red hat. hahaha. Totally freaky, but we both remember it to this day!

— Creepy tie!

Charity 1 / Erin 1

2. Have you ever had a strange pet (not like a dog or cat….)

Erin – I have a pink dragon named Sookie. Some people think she is just a plush toy, but when we are not looking she raids the house for keys, pens, and school paperwork. Her favorite trinkets include half pairs of earrings and half pairs of socks. I got her in high school. When I went to college my parents told me to take her away and never bring her home again. Though she’s lived with me for 25 years, she still hasn’t divulged her treasure lair to me.

No, she does not breathe fire.

Charity – Wow. I have no words.

— Erin!

Charity 1 / Erin 2

3. Favorite scary movie?

Erin – Believe it or not, I hate scary movies. But if your question were “most hated scary movie?” I would have to say Cape Fear. The one Robert De Niro was in. I actually never finished watching it and had nightmares for a long time.

Charity – Ohhh! I love scary movies. I know they can be cheesy, but my favorites are anything by M. Night Shamalama-ding-dong. So fun!!!!!!

— Me!!!!!!!

Charity 2 / Erin 2

4. Have you ever been under a waterfall? Pics?

Erin – Yes, the time I was being chased by diamond thieves in Africa. It was a narrow escape. Sadly, no time for pics.

Charity – 😮 How can I compete with that?

— A narrow and daring escape.

Charity 2 / Erin 3

5. Coolest place you have traveled to?

Erin – Since I must confess I have never been to Africa or stood behind a waterfall, I will say . . . Edinburgh Castle in Scotland. It wasn’t that the castle itself was so spectacular, but that I was there for their annual Royal Military Tattoo, an event for which military bands from all over the world come to perform. Listening to your nations’ treasured songs being played by servicemen and women in a foreign country is a uniquely patriotic experience that I will probably never forget.

I have also been to Auschwitz, a visit I made while the Iron Curtain was still hanging. That was “cool” in the sense of having a bucket of ice water thrown in your face on a frigid day. But this too falls into the category of unforgettable, emotional experiences.

Charity – Wow!!! Both of those are intense!!!!

— No chance!

Charity 2 / Erin 4

6. First place you saw your books selling at?

Erin – Facebook. A reader rearranged some store’s shelf so my book was face-out and posted a picture.

Charity – No way! So cool.

— Didn’t have a chance on that one either…

Charity 2 / Erin 5

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

Erin – The past few years I have tried to bring God glory by giving up the “striving” component. This has been a unique kind of journey away from Western ideals of accomplishment and toward a different sense of identifying and nurturing God’s image in me–and in others. Thomas Merton says it best: “A tree gives glory to God first of all by being a tree. For in being what God means it to be, it is imitating an idea which is in God and which is not distinct from the essence of God, and therefore a tree imitates God by being a tree. The more it is like itself, the more it is like Him. If it tried to be something else which it was never intended to be, it would be less like God and therefore it would give Him less glory. No two trees are alike. And their individuality is no imperfection.”

Charity – Nice.

— God wins!

Charity 2 / Erin 5

8. Do you have any strange, totally useless skills?

Erin – I can read and write upside down? (Upside down being either me or the page.) Actually, that’s not totally useless. I have a child who’s still learning to read and write.

Charity – Pretty impressive!! But…check this out:

— That was GINORMOUS!!!!

Charity 3 / Erin 5

9. Have you ever had goat milk?

Erin – Once. And I have forgotten all the other details of that moment. I’m an almond milk kind of girl.

Charity –

— Can’t even stand the smell!!!

Charity 4 / Erin 5

10. Strangest fan encounter?

Erin – My book covers generally originate from stock photos. One of them was taken by a Portuguese photographer, who wrote to me a Google translated letter because he so happy to see a picture he had taken on a book . . . and so sad, because the photo was of his ex-girlfriend, whom he had desperately loved. Somehow I ended up feeling as if my book had intruded on his personal life.

Charity – OMGosh! That is wild!!!!


Charity 4 / Erin 6


Thank you, Erin! Lots of fun 🙂 il_570xN.321850012

Guess what??? YEP! Want a fun and intense read? Erin has offered up a giveaway of her new release, Hiding Places!!

Just head on over to the rafflecopter link and start entering! Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

*U.S. Entries Only (We do love the rest of you too!)
**Entries will be checked!

Face-Off with Rebecca Belliston!!

This lady is HERE TODAY! Rebecca Lund Belliston is the bestselling author of the Citizens of Logan Pond dystopian trilogy and the romantic suspense novels, Sadie and Augustina. She’s a sucker for a good romance, a good clean romance, and as such she layers her stories with page-turning romance and heart-pounding adventure. She’s also the bestselling composer of religious and classical-style music that has been performed around the world.

Make sure you scroll to the bottom for a HUGE GIVEAWAY OFFER!!!!

Pick up one of these books!

They are FREE with Kindle Unlimited ❤ ❤ ❤

Alright!! Shall we??


The rules are simple. I ask Rebecca 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. Favorite composer from the Baroque, Classical or Romantic era. Why?

Rebecca – Ah, I love classical music so much. I even compose classical-style music, wishing I could have lived back then.

If I had to choose, I’d choose Beethoven. His music is not only fun to play (on the piano, at least), but it is musically so amazing, complex, and passionate. I am definitely a Beethoven junkie. His piano sonatas and concertos are my favorite. But Rachmaninoff and Liszt are close seconds, depending on my mood.

Charity – I do love Beethoven, but Chopin is my first love. I was a classical pianist for years ❤ Both are immensely beautiful artists!!!!!!!

— It would be a tie, but…you actually compose music. Can’t win against that!

Charity 0 / Rebecca 1

2. Have you ever accidentally shoplifted?

Rebecca – Not to my knowledge. I hope not.

Charity – Oh, I totally have!! The latest time was a couple months back. My son was carrying around a bag for us old people and he must have accidentally knocked some socks into the bag. Of course, we live like an hour away, so I didn’t return them 😮 He was MORTIFIED.

— I get that! haha

Charity 1 / Rebecca 1

3.Which Jane Austen hero would you have fallen for?

Rebecca – Well…Pride and Prejudice is my favorite novel/movie of all time, so I guess Mr. Darcy. Although Jane Austen does well with all of her heroes, so I wouldn’t have been too picky.

Charity – Oh, Hands DOWN Mr. Knightly. Colonel Brandon is a VERY close second ❤

— Tie

Charity 2 / Rebecca 2

4. Where would the perfect picnic be?

Rebecca – In the Utah mountains (maybe the back side of Timpanogos) overlooking the valley on a clear blue sky day. I’ve lived in Michigan for eighteen years, but I will always love the Utah mountains.

Charity – Beautiful!!! My choice is green grass, lake and weeping willow.

— Tie

Charity 3 / Rebecca 3

5. What is your favorite time of day?

Rebecca – Evening. I think better in the evening. My kids and hubby know to not expect much from me in the morning. Yikes.

Charity – Oh, man. I am worthless in the morning too. The nights are my favorite. Definitely a night owl.

— Tie again!

Charity 4 / Rebecca 4

6. Favorite pumpkin recipe?

Rebecca – Eh…I’m not a huge pumpkin fan. Sorry.

Charity – 😮 Sadness rules my heart.


Charity 5 / Rebecca 4

7. Did you ever play with Cabbage Patch Dolls, Strawberry Shortcake Dolls, Rainbow Brite Dolls, or Care Bears?


Rebecca – YES! All of the above. Good memories.

Charity – Me too!!! So awesome. Kids don’t have good toys anymore…

— TIE!

Charity 6 / Rebecca 5

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

Rebecca – I try to be kind and selfless. I fail more than I hope to, but the Savior spent his life thinking of others. This is definitely a focus of mine right now and something I strive for.

Charity – Love it

— God wins!

Charity 6 / Rebecca 5

9. Favorite cartoon when you were little?

Rebecca – Bugs Bunny. I’m smiling just remembering. I still pull up old Bugs Bunny cartoons on Youtube to show my kids how deprived they are these days. I don’t think Bugs Bunny will ever be topped. (Want a classic Bugs playing classical Liszt?)

Charity – Good choice!!!!!!!!! Loved Bugs Bunny!!

— Another tie!!!!!

Charity 7 / Rebecca 6

10. Have you ever gone skydiving?

Rebecca – No, but it’s on my bucket list! I’ve always wanted to jump out of a plane. Lol.

Charity – Me too!!! I have always wanted to, but due to horrible health, I am no longer allowed. WAAAHHHHHHH.

— It’s still on your bucket list!! Woot Woot!


Charity 7 / Rebecca 7


I had so much fun getting to know you better, Rebecca!!!! Displaying BOOK GIVEAWAY.jpg

So, exciting news?? Rebecca and her Father, Gerald N. Lund, put together a HUGE prize pack!

Just head on over to a Rafflecopter giveaway and start entering!! Good luck!!

Displaying Gerald Lund Rebecca Belliston Giveaway Books.JPG

Face-Off with Sandra Orchard!!

Sandra Orchard I am super excited to have THE Sandra Orchard on my blog today!! She is a multi-award winning author of over a dozen suspenseful books! Now, that is impressive!!

Sandra lives in Ontario, Canada, but her books have made it to us! haha 🙂 She’s a homeschool mom (*HOLLA!!* HOMESCHOOL MOM’S UNITE!) that studied math in school. On her oldest child’s first day of college, she received her first contract. Coincidence? I think not…

Check out her Blog here…and

Check out some of her books here:

Let’s do this, shall we?


PicCollage(2)The rules are simple. I ask Sandra 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 remote location that you have ever visited?

Sandra – Alaska. My husband and I went on a cruise there to celebrate our 25th anniversary. Of course…it didn’t feel terribly remote considering how many other people were sharing the ship with us!

Charity – That’s true…but, that is pretty remote. I can’t imagine how beautiful it must have been!! I can’t think of any place as cool as that answer 😦

— Sandra

Charity 0 / Sandra 1

2. If you could pick celebrities to play you and your husband in a movie, who would you choose? Why?

Sandra – Oh, true story. We were in the Montreal airport and a woman kept staring at my husband. Finally, she came up and said, “Are you a movie star? You remind me of a movie star.” I said, “Yeah, I always thought he looked like Cary Grant. Don’t you think?”

She cocked her head, scrutinizing him. “Yeah, a little.”

We never did find out which movie star she thought he really looked like!

[Notice, how I neatly avoided your question? 😉 ] Here’s a pic of

us on that Alaskan Cruise. You decide.

Screen shot 2015-09-17 at 7.22.33 PM

Charity – You are right! He does resemble Cary Grant!

If someone was going to star in a movie about my life, it would probably be someone like Carol Burnett. (I am a mess!!) . As far as my husband? Wolverine 😉


— Tie – We have lovely husbands!

Charity 1 / Sandra 2

3. Do you ice skate well?

Sandra – I haven’t skated in years, but I can probably still get from A to B, both frontwards and backwards, nothing fancy. Although as I recall, being a tad unsteady on skates—in other words…in need of a steady hand to hold—was always a plus in my dating days. 😀

Charity – Oh, you rascal, you! haha. Love it. I am pretty good on skates, but not so much with ice skates 😮

— Sandra pulled ahead with her final statement!

Charity 1 / Sandra 3

4. Favorite TV show when you were growing up?

Sandra – Hmm, Remington Steele and Love Boat, maybe. Definitely dating myself here.

Charity – Well, that means we both are. Those are what I grew up watching too. My favorite was the 80’s Mission: Impossible. My family watched a lot of Scarecrow and Mrs. King, so that was a staple. Same with Dukes of Hazard.

— Tie. Old tv! woot woot

Charity 2 / Sandra 4

5. Do you have a full-fledged farm?

Sandra – No, we have farm “pets”. Up until this past harsh winter, they included a horse, a goat, cats, chickens and a dog. Now…we have only a dog, a horse and one chicken.

Screen shot 2015-09-17 at 7.22.26 PM

Charity – Well, that’s 3 more pets than I currently have!! We had a dog, for about 2 years. I couldn’t handle it….I’m too spontaneous and high maintenance, I suppose. We gave him to my parents, so I still get to see him 🙂 Best of both worlds!


— Definitely Sandra!!

Charity 2 / Sandra 5

6. How many books do you read a month?

Sandra – It depends on the month, for example, where I’m at in my writing and deadlines. This month, so far I’ve read three, and will probably finish at least a couple more. But last month, I only read 2 books.

Charity – Hmm. I have to agree. I does depend on the month. For me, it is anywhere between 8-20.


Charity 3 / Sandra 5

7. Have you ever been 4-Wheeling?

Sandra – Not in the way you probably mean. But yes, I’ve ridden on a four-wheeler. We do take the grandkids for joyrides on the neighbor’s golf cart, though, and run the dog alongside it—an Alaskan husky who loooooves to run.

Screen shot 2015-09-17 at 7.22.11 PM

Charity – Did I mention the “High Maintenance” thing yet? 😉

— Sandra!

Charity 3 / Sandra 6

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

Sandra – By acknowledging his hand in all things, and in His strength, striving to face life’s daily challenges and tasks without complaining.

Charity – Love it 🙂

— God wins!

Charity 3 / Sandra 6

9. What type of things do you collect?

Sandra – Hmm, when I was young, I collected stamps, coins, spoons, seashells, and the occasional fossil. These days I try to avoid accumulating “stuff.”

Although I enjoy collecting letters/emails from readers!

Charity – Nice! I like that extra statement.

I try to avoid it too. We have a very small home and I like things to be organized!! I used to collect Fenton glass, but I just don’t have room anymore.


— Tie

Charity 4 / Sandra 7

10. If you could pick one store to have a 30 minute shopping spree at, what one would you choose? What would you get?

Sandra – LOL, no fair, I just finished telling you I’m trying to avoid accumulating stuff! However…that husky I mentioned was a chewer when she was a pup, and she did ruin a corner of our sofa, amongst other things.

Screen shot 2015-09-17 at 7.21.58 PM

So… we could definitely stand to replace some furniture, get some decent bureaus, with drawers that actually work! Oh, and if there’s a furniture store that also sells kitchen cupboards, bonus, because mine are a boring white melamine slab and it would be nice to spruce those up too.

Charity – Nice call!!! I would just go to Target and take everything…..*sigh* It’s almost heavenly, don’t you think?


— Tie!


Charity 5 / Sandra 8

i-lost-the-game-2 BIG TIME!

Thank you, Sandra! That was a blast 🙂 I love the pics you sent and it was awesome finding out a little more about you!!!! You are welcome back anytime!

Face-Off with Richard Mabry!!

MabrypubphotoOh my goodness! Are you guys in for a treat today! This man has done it all!! U.S. Air Force, music minister, Semi-pro baseball player, otolaryngology (that’s “ear, nose, and throat” to most folks) and author. If that doesn’t blow your mind…

Richard has authored around 10 suspense books. Here are just a few: (Links are in the pics)

All right! Let’s get to it!!

PicCollageThe rules are simple. I ask Richard 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. Funniest story about your medical training?

Richard – That would be from the first portion of our clinical training. We were learning to take histories, and were consulting a gray, pocket-sized book for the questions. One of the questions was about “paroxysmal nocturnal dyspnea” (waking up with air-hunger at night). The student with whom I was paired asked the patient, “Do you have paroxysmal nocturnal dyspnea?” The patient, naturally, looked puzzled. I said, “Trevor, you’d better be certain about that.” Trevor nodded, and said, “Are you SURE you don’t have paroxysmal nocturnal dyspnea?”

Charity – haha! I bet he was sweating!! I would be scared that I was going to die if I didn’t answer correctly!! That’s great 🙂

— Obviously, Richard!

Charity 0 / Richard 1

2. THANK YOU for serving in the Air Force. Best memory?

Richard – I served as a medical officer overseas in the Azores (I wanted Carswell AFB, 30 miles from Lajes_fieldhome—I got Lajes Field, 4000 miles away). One day our seamstress came to our house crying. She said her baby daughter had swallowed a coin (about the size of a US quarter) and the Portuguese doctor said she was going to die. The hospital commander and I arranged to anesthetize the little girl and remove the coin via an instrument we placed down her throat—it was a simple procedure that made all of us happy (and got the commander and me written up in Stars and Stripes).

Charity – Ok. Not sure why I asked these questions because there is no way I can win!! That is amazing that you have saved lives. I mean, I know you are a doctor, but to hear the individual stories…wow.

— No chance!

Charity 0 / Richard 2

3. Do you enjoy watching sports? If so, what teams?

Richard – I’ve played and coached baseball virtually all my life, RLMbaseballincluding some semi-pro ball, so I enjoy watching professional baseball (Texas Rangers), although for the West Coast games I tend to turn into a pumpkin about the fifth inning.

I also like to watch professional football (Dallas Cowboys), but have never gotten interested in the college game, except occasionally when a team I like is in a Bowl game.

Never have cared for basketball, and although our granddaughter plays soccer, the game doesn’t hold my attention.

Charity – I think we have a problem. HOUSTON….

Um, we are die hard Skins fans!! haha. So, the biggest rivalry in the NFL just so happens to be between the Redskins and Cowboys. Man!!!

I am with you on the college football. Doesn’t hold my attention.

I love baseball (so cool to see your baseball card!!!!!!!). Big Atlanta Braves fan. I also like the Duke Blue Devils (college basketball). Those are the only teams I follow closely.

— Hey, it’s my blog. Redskins’ fans get the points!

Charity 1 / Richard 2

4. Dream vacation?

Richard – That’s tough to choose. I’ve been fortunate enough to teach medical courses all over the world (Kay and I honeymooned on a trip to Singapore and Thailand, where I almost pushed her off an elephant—but that’s another story), as well as some travels in the US and abroad on our own.

Probably our dream vacation would be a return to Santorini in Greece. (We ate dinner with another couple at a restaurant terrace that had the view pictured).

classic Santorini

Charity – Now this is just bizarre! I mean, you can ask my readers what my dream vacation is and they would be able to point out this picture. I have said, SO MANY TIMES, that I would like to go to Santorini, Greece. *sigh* You actually went and ate on a beautiful restaurant terrace?!?!

— You get that one, HANDS DOWN! You’ve already been on my dream vacation!

Charity 1 / Richard 3

5. Have you ever been part of any kind of suspense story like you write about?

Richard – Almost, although it wasn’t medical. When Kay and I were driving to a time-share in North Carolina, I made reservations for us to stop one night at a motel, part of a well-known chain. We checked in, left our luggage, and went to eat. When we came back and unlocked the door, we heard noise coming from the bathroom. I tried to open the bathroom door, but it was locked. Our luggage was undisturbed and nothing else was out of place, but I said, “Let’s get out of here.” I told the man at the desk what was happening, and he seemed unconcerned. I, on the other hand, was very concerned. We found another place to stay that night.

Charity – Oh my!!! He wasn’t concerned? ha. Now, that is really bizarre…

One time, I had to go to a church small group and my oldest son was sick. I decided to leave him home and I would check in on him. So, before I left, I set the alarm and made sure he was sleeping. Well, a couple hours later, I got a call from the security company saying that someone had entered our house through the living room. I quickly hung up because I was getting a call from my son. I asked him what was going on. He said he was hiding in the kitchen because he heard someone in the house and then he just hung up on me!!! I tried to call back a few times with no answer. Finally, he answered and said that he couldn’t talk or they would hear him. I told him that he needed to get up and just run as fast as he can right out the door to our neighbor’s house. He just hung up again!! I am high-tailing it home (about 15-20 minutes away). I am panicked, but God is giving me great peace. I got a call from the security company saying that another door had been opened. Once I hung up, I finally got through to my neighbor. She told me that my son was safely there. Once I got home, the police were waiting for me. They checked out the house and we realized….

I am a blonde.

I set the alarm to “away” instead of “stay”. So, the minute he woke up and got off the couch, the alarm picked up his movement. That was the first alert (of course it made the alarm blare like crazy, so my son totally imagined he heard someone walking around the house as he hid in the kitchen). The second alarm went off when he tore out the front door to go to our neighbor’s house. hahahaha. Oh man!!! Totally suspenseful for us!!! But a completely false alarm :-O

— I am taking it! My son was home alone telling me that he heard people in the house!

Charity 2 / Richard 3

6. What other authors do you like to read?

Richard – That’s another tough one. In one of my first writing classes, Alton Gansky told us, “Once you start writing, you’ll never read the same way again.” And that’s true. I find myself searching for head-hopping, passive sentences, ways I’d rewrite the story every time I pick up a book.

That having been said, I suppose my favorite authors include some of the secular writers like Robert B. Parker, Ross Thomas, and the Matt Scudder novels of Lawrence Block. I also like works by writers in the secular sphere who are obviously Christian: John Grisham and Steven James come to mind. James Scott Bell seems to have his feet in both camps, and I like his books. As for writers whose books are true “Christian fiction”—I have too many favorites to name.

Charity – I agree! That is a really difficult question. My latest craze is memoirs. I am really enjoying tearing through a bunch of those. That means….you usually don’t have the same author more than once! But, there are so many great fiction writers, I would be here all day!!

— Tie


Charity 3 / Richard 4

you__ve_just_lost_the_game__xd_by_ponyowantsham-d3avgot , as usual.

Thank you, Richard!balloons It has been so much fun getting to know you better!!!!

Guess what, guys!?!?!? Richard has offered to give away a copy of his NEW RELEASE!!!!!! All you need to do is head on over to:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

*U.S. Residents Only (We love the rest of you too!!)
**Entries will be checked.


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.


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:


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?!?!

1240380_10153805051745018_1018665421_n 1625460_10153805436990018_1765619768_n

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…


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!


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…

The Curiosity Keeper

by Sarah E. Ladd

Sarah has, AGAIN, hit a home run! In her latest book, there is mystery, intrigue, suspense and LOVE! Camille is working in her father’s shop when she is attacked. The thief is in search of something that she knows nothing about. Throughout the book, she learns to fight for herself, has her heart completely smashed and is shown true love. It’s quite the story!!

The characters are extremely loveable. You want to fight for them individually, as well as together. God is not constant throughout, but more of a background element. Her writing is always well done. The book will hold your attention from the first page. Highly recommend anything by this author!!

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

If you would like to see my fun Face-Off with Sarah, just click HERE.

Fatal Trauma

by Richard L. Mabry, M.D.

As Mark is finishing up his shift in the ER, his world is about to change. Held at gunpoint and told to operate on a man that he knows is already dead, Mark has to find a way to get himself and everyone else out alive. He knows that his trouble has just begun when he finds out that it was the infamous “Zeta Drug Cartel”. As he struggles to stay alive and protect those he loves over the coming days, there is enough non-stop action to keep you flipping the pages.

I enjoyed the spiritual theme throughout the book. I felt like God was a big part. I thought it was odd that the Scripture used was from the KJV. As far as the characters go, it seemed like they were left wanting. There was nothing really loveable about them to keep you hoping they were safe. The writing was also a bit strange. It almost seemed like it was written a few decades ago. Nobody really talks like they did in these conversations and the girls certainly don’t communicate with each other the way it portrayed in the book.

Overall, a great action story. The author certainly knows his facts and there was plenty of interesting storyline. If you are more tuned into relationships, interactions and friendships, you might want to keep looking.

Thank you, Litfuse, for this book! As always, this is my honest opinion. Here’s to many more.

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!!

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