CP Blogs do not necessarily reflect the views of The Christian Post. Opinions expressed are solely those of the author(s).

Posted 11/18/15 at 5:19 PM |

New book chronicles widow's overheard conversations from heaven

When Rebecca Cooper’s husband Charles died suddenly eight years ago, she admittedly stopped praying to God. Two days after his 58th birthday, her husband suffered a thoracic aortic dissection – the same medical condition that killed actor John Ritter. Prayers went up on her husband’s behalf for two weeks to no avail. After 39 years of marriage, Cooper was alone, and consumed by grief and despair. Then she heard voices—they were in her head, but very clear. She wondered if she was going crazy, but then she listened…

“Hey, God?” “Yes, Charles.

”I’m worried about Becky. She’s running on adrenaline, not eating, crying. She needs me.”

She,” God proclaimed, “has Me.”

She grabbed a piece of paper, compelled to write down what she had heard. She continued to overhear conversations, and continued to chronicle them. Over time, there were hundreds of small sheets of paper all around the house. She shared several with others who were grieving. A friend suggested she gather the papers together and put them in a notebook for her children and grandchildren. Cooper’s very personal writings were discovered by a publisher and have now become a book entitled, “Hey, God? Yes, Charles: Conversations on Life, Loss, and Love” (Turner Publishing Co.). FULL POST

Posted 11/18/15 at 3:42 PM | Audra Jennings

Theology Comes to Life in this New Book from Acclaimed Children’s Author

An interview with Marty Machowski,

Author of The Ology

The Ology, by Marty Machowski
New Growth Press

Theology is brought to life for young people in the new book The Ology (New Growth Press/October 19, 2015/ISBN: 9781942572282/$29.99), penned by celebrated children’s author Marty Machowski, with stunning illustrations by Andy McGuire. FULL POST

Posted 11/17/15 at 11:39 AM | Audra Jennings

Committed Relationships Can Exist in Our Disposable Culture

The Wedding Chapel by Rachel Hauck

In a day when marriage seems incredibly disposable, USA Today best-selling author Rachel Hauck weaves a story rich in symbolism that reminds us of timeless truths about love. Hauck is captivated by the 1940s, and in The Wedding Chapel (Zondervan/November 17, 2015/ISBN: 978-0310341529/$15.99), she juxtaposes two story lines: one capturing the simple romance and commitment to family embodying the earlier era and another showing the challenges and complications of romance in a modern world.

Retired football hall-of-famer Jimmy “Coach” Westbrook never imagined anything would come from the wedding chapel he built, stone by stone, for the beautiful Collette Greer, the woman he fell for back in 1949. He lost her long ago, and for 60 years his labor of love has sat empty, a monument to his memories. Then one day an offer arrives to turn the chapel into what it was meant to be: a place of love and eternal promises. Coach sees no reason to hang onto his dream any longer.

Meanwhile photographer Taylor Branson is trying to make a life for herself in New York. She leaves her home in Heart’s Bend, Tennessee, determined to put the broken promises and dreams of the past behind her. Given how divorce tore apart her family, Taylor tends to be more cautious with relationships but surprises even herself when she falls head-over-heels for Jack Forester. Taylor allows her heart to carry her into a whirlwind elopement, but doubts, disagreements and second thoughts enter shortly after they say “I do.” Jack has his own demons to battle and struggles to show Taylor his true self and the depths of his love for her.

When Taylor takes an assignment in Heart’s Bend, the job does more than send her back to her hometown. She becomes immersed in a world of long-buried family secrets and finds her journey intersecting with Coach’s in a surprising way. Together they rediscover the heartbeat of their dreams and find it’s never too late to seek love— and it’s worth every single moment of waiting.

Many people are afraid of commitment and marriage because they’ve seen the way divorce can destroy a family — maybe even their own. Hauck reminds readers that their family history doesn’t have to determine their destiny. “In Christ we can break those family iniquities. We don’t have to carry forward whatever our ancestors did,” she explains. “‘Old things have passed away,’ the Apostle Paul writes. ‘All things have become new.’”

Above all The Wedding Chapel affirms the truth that while the pressures of life will always be with us, true love never fails. “I always hope my stories leave readers uplifted, hopeful and aware of God’s love for them. In this book, I tried to show how His heart beats for us, even when we are running the opposite direction.”

For more information about Rachel Hauck and The Wedding Chapel at or on Facebook (RachelHauck) and Twitter (@RachelHauck).

About the Author

Rachel Hauck, author of The Wedding Chapel
Rachel Hauck

Rachel Hauck is a USA Today best-selling and award-winning author of critically acclaimed novels such as The Wedding Dress, Love Starts with Elle and Once Upon A Prince.

She also wrote the Songbird Novels with multi-platinum recording artist Sara Evans. Booklist named their novel Softly and Tenderly one of their 2011 “Top Ten Inspirationals.”

Hauck has a journalism degree from Ohio State University and is a huge Buckeyes football fan. She worked in the corporate software world before she began writing full time in 2004. Hauck serves on the Executive Board for American Christian Fiction Writers and leads worship at their annual conference. She is also a mentor and book therapist at My Book Therapy, a conference speaker and a contributor to Southern Belle View Daily.

Hauck lives in central Florida with her husband where she writes from her two-story tower.

Learn more about Rachel Hauck and her books at or on Facebook (RachelHauck) and Twitter (@RachelHauck).

Posted 11/10/15 at 6:17 PM | Audra Jennings

Author Asks: What Would You Challenge Your Younger Self to Do Differently?

The Five Times I Met Myself by James L. Rubart
Thomas Nelson

Seattle: What if you met your 23-year-old self in a dream? What would you say? No matter how young or how old, there’s a part of us all that wishes we could go back and tell ourselves what we should have done differently. It’s a desire award-winning author James L. Rubart explores in his new novel, The Five Times I Met Myself (Thomas Nelson/November 10, 2015/ISBN: 978-1401686116/$15.99).

Rubart’s strength of teaching life lessons within the context of story shines in this new release that will appeal to fans of Andy Andrews and Mitch Albom. The author introduces readers to Brock Matthews, whose once-promising life is now unraveling. There is tension in nearly every one of his relationships, and with his son soon leaving for college he’s forced to confront the gaping gulf that lies between him and his wife. His successful company, where he’s found so much of his sense of identity and fulfillment, is suddenly on the rocks. He’s at a loss for how to deal with the pressures he’s facing, when one night he encounters himself as a young adult in a vivid dream. When he learns he might be able to change his past mistakes, he jumps at the chance but soon finds that while the results are astonishing, they’re also disturbing. For Brock, getting what he wants most in the world will force him to give up the one thing he doesn’t know how to let go. FULL POST

Posted 11/6/15 at 10:48 AM | Audra Jennings

Missionary to Africa Weaves Adventure Tale to Shine Light on the Oppressed

An interview with J.A. Myhre,

Author of A Chameleon, a Boy, and a Quest

A Chameleon, a Boy, and a Quest by J.A. Myhre
New Growth Press

Nearly 80 percent of the worlds population lives on less than $10 a day. For globally-aware parents who want to give their children a glimpse of majority-world reality, long-term medical missionary to Africa J.A. Myhre has penned A Chameleon, a Boy, and a Quest (New Growth Press/October 6, 2015/ISBN: 9781942572084/$15.99). FULL POST

Posted 10/22/15 at 1:53 PM | Audra Jennings

Lynne Gentry Concludes Series with a Thrilling Story of Fearlessness and Family Ties

An interview with Lynne Gentry,

Author of Valley of Decision

Lynne Gentry, author of Valley of Decision
Lynne Gentry

Q: Tell us your favorite thing about your new book, Valley of Decision, which is the final installment in your series The Carthage Chronicles.

The world says we should make our decisions about love based on feelings. This story shows us how different the world would be if true love were based on actions.

Q: Why did you decide to set the book and the series in Carthage?

The Roman era has always interested me. When I stumbled across a third-century plague that nearly destroyed the empire, I had to know more. My research uncovered the fact that the Plague of Cyprian originated in Africa. So I didn’t choose the setting; history did.

Q: The book opens with your heroine, Lisbeth Hastings’, daughter traveling back to the third century against her mother’s wishes. If the propensity toward rebellion dwells in each of us, why do you think Lisbeth is so surprised when her daughter disobeys her?

I love my children. The desire to protect them from the painful mistakes I made framed many of my parenting decisions. However, my kids are human. Whenever they dared to step out of the safety of the boundaries I’d established for them, it was more than anger that kicked in. It was sheer terror. What if they were hurt? What if I couldn’t rescue them? What if their rebellion cost them their lives? I don’t think Lisbeth and Cyprian were surprised, but I do think they were terrified for their child.

Q: As a parent, how did you find the balance between letting your child exert his or her independence and being too permissive?

The short answer is prayer — lots and lots of prayer.

This is a tough one, and there isn’t a clear-cut answer. However, I believe if you let children exert their independence, you must be willing to allow them to suffer the consequences of their decisions. For example, when my son began to bristle against my reminders to pack his lunch in his backpack, I had a choice to make. I could nag him, or I could allow him a little independence. So I tried an experiment. One morning I didn’t say a word about the lunch sack sitting in the fridge. As I suspected, he forgot to pack it. At noon he called from the principal’s office in a panic. It wasn’t easy to let him miss a meal, but I did. He never forgot his lunch again, and I never had to remind him. Win-win. I think if we allow children to exert independence in situations that don’t threaten their safety, the lessons they learn will give them a solid foundation.

Q: You’ve based some of Cyprian’s decisions in Valley of Decision on actual historical documents. What was the most important piece of research to the development of the book you found?

My stories are loosely based upon multiple historical accounts and Cyprianus Thascius’ own extensive writings, so from the beginning I’ve known Cyprian died a martyr’s death. As I wrote this final installment of his story, I took a closer look at his final day. Cyprian’s best friend Pontius recorded that soldiers came in the night and escorted Cyprian from his villa. He spent the night in the home of the commanding officers. That piece of information caused me to consider those long, dark hours. What went through Cyprian’s mind? Was he frightened? Did he ever consider recanting his faith? While we don’t have Cyprian’s thoughts, Pontius tells us that in the morning Cyprian went bravely and with “exceptional cheer” to face his executioner. To me, Cyprian’s demeanor validates the Lord’s calming presence in our lives . . . especially when the end comes.

Q: In the third century, Christians had the choice to run toward or away from those suffering from a deadly viral outbreak. What caused your characters to run toward the ill?

When the World Trade Center towers came down on September 11, 2001, cameras captured the terrified faces of people running for their lives. What struck me the most, though, were the unbelievable images of people running toward the smoke. Why would anyone risk their own lives to save someone they do not even know? That’s a question without an easy answer. I believe selflessness is a Christ-like characteristic best acquired through observation. When the church operates as Christ intended, a spirit of selflessness is modeled. Placing the welfare of others above your own is a picture of true love.

Q: Lisbeth is a doctor determined to help those impacted by the outbreak. How do you want your readers to be impacted by her passion to use her skills to better the lives of others?

I believe all of us are gifted for the purpose of making the world a better place. My gift is not medical, but I do have the ability to listen and come alongside someone who is suffering. My challenge is the same as the third-century Christians: to use my gifts and be willing to step out of my comfort zones. My prayer is that all of us will strive not only to notice areas where we can bring comfort, but also to become active participants in the reduction of suffering.

Q: Have you ever struggled finding the courage to do the right thing?

Absolutely. I’m a fearful person by nature. I don’t like to make mistakes, and I avoid conflict. So when the Lord called me to write this story of conflict and courage, I nearly bolted. Had I not constantly buoyed myself with the countless scriptures of God’s abiding presence, I could not have written The Carthage Chronicles.

Valley of Decision by Lynne Gentry
Howard Books

Q: In Valley of Decision, everyone has a decision to make. How are your own past decisions woven into the tapestry of your life?

This series originated out of my own regrets. My life had come to what I thought was a disappointing dead end. I began to ask myself “what if” questions. I nearly made myself sick longing for a chance to redo the past. Ironically, it was in the writing of Lisbeth’s desperate attempts to right her own wrongs that I discovered poor choices and failures are the dark threads that give our life the depth of tapestry. If I was granted the opportunity to go back and change one choice, it would be like pulling a very important thread from the picture of my life. What would I want to give up? My husband? My children? My beautiful grandchildren? Never. While failures have the ability to shape us as profoundly as victories, ultimately we have a choice. Do we allow these experiences to make us bitter or make us better? This crossroad is what I call the valley of decision, and eventually everyone walks through its dark halls.

Q: What does your heroine, Lisbeth, discover about the true meaning of family in her efforts to reunite her own?

Lisbeth is like me. She longs to live in the security of a loving, united family. Unfortunately, I’ve discovered no one lives in a perfect family. Feelings get hurt. Relationships fragment. And sometimes, blood is not thicker than water. Flesh-and-blood families don’t always stay together. This would be a sad story if that was the end of it, but, like me, Lisbeth discovers family doesn’t always match our DNA. She learns families are the people who choose to love you no matter what.

Q: How does your own family reach beyond flesh and blood?

Every time the Lord called us to serve him in a new location, we moved farther from my flesh-and-blood family. I mourned not having my relatives close. I wanted my kids to know the joy of running in and out of their grandparents’ home. I wanted them to grow up playing with their cousins. To my surprise, those missing relationships were filled by people who weren’t related to us. At every church we served, the Lord provided a loving older couple excited to step in and love on our kids. The Lord brought a steady stream of families into our lives. Our children gained instant cousins, and our house was always full of laughter and friends on the holidays. Some of these friends have used their vacation time to sit by my bedside or care for my family as I recovered from surgeries. They’ve driven across the country to meet us for vacation. They’ve even sent checks to keep us afloat during a financial crisis. I’ve learned Christ is the blood that unites us all. Someone gave me a plaque that reads: “Friends are the family we choose.” I pray that you too dare to extend the borders of your family relationships. I promise you will be blessed.

Q: Since time travel is a unique part of this series, name one 21-century item you would be unable to live without.

My Keurig coffeemaker.

Q: If you could go back in history, what time period would you visit?

I would love to return to the time of Christ and walk the same cobblestones and sandy beaches with him. I think my love of all things Roman came from sitting in Sunday school and listening to the stories about that intriguing part of the world.

Q: How does it feel to complete The Carthage Chronicles series?

I feel like I have been on an epic journey: a personal journey of explorationand growth. As I’ve already said, this story had its roots in my own regrets, my desireto go back and make some different decisions. Similar to myself, in the end Lisbeth decides all of the threads of her life have madeher who she is. That’s how I felt when I wrote the epilogue of Valley ofDecision. I’m comfortable with who I am: an imperfect person wholoves God and is loved by God — even when I fail.

Q: What projects are you working on next?

Stories are always clamoring for my attention. My next series is but a nugget based on a very unique event that happened in a dusty Middle Eastern town at the end of World War II. But I promise you, the stakes will be high, the adventures outlandish and the romance heart-melting. In the end, the world will be changed for the better!

For more information about Valley of Decision and Lynne Gentry visit, become a fan on Facebook (Author-Lynne-Gentry) or follow her on Twitter (@Lynne_Gentry) and Pinterest (lynnegentry7).

Posted 10/20/15 at 4:53 PM | Audra Jennings

What Are You Passing on to Your Children?

Part 2 of an interview with Jim Burns and Jeremy Lee,

Authors of Pass It On: Building a Legacy of Faith for Your Children

through Practical and Memorable Experiences

Click here to read the full interview.

Pass it On by Jim Burns and Jeremy Lee
David C Cook

Research and experience both support the truth that parents are the single most important factor in determining a child’s view of God and whether or not faith will become a cornerstone of his or her adult life. Although it is a great responsibility, moms and dads need not panic at the daunting thought. In Pass It On: Building a Legacy of Faith for Your Children through Practical and Memorable Experiences (David C Cook/ September 1, 2015/ISBN:978-1434709073/$15.99),HomeWord president Jim Burns and founder Jeremy Lee give parents a year-by-year plan for sharing rites of passage that will set the foundation for their child’s faith. FULL POST

Posted 10/20/15 at 9:47 AM |

Publisher for critically-acclaimed fiction novel releases free downloadable study guide for book clubs, bible studies, and youth groups

Rossling Publishers has announced that a free downloadable study guide for their critically-acclaimed novel, The Academy is now available on the website The book has been called “brilliantly written” and “as influential as The Shack” by numerous reviewers. Co-authors Ryan Mix and J.T. Payne wanted to provide the study guide in order to go a little deeper into the book’s numerous plot lines, which include topics such as suicide, abortion, and evolution. Divided into nine lessons, The Academy study guide is meant to be used along with the novel to open up discussions on the numerous “real-life” situations that are presented in the book.

“Our goal for the novel has always been to get people to think,” says Mix, “and engaging readers with a thought-provoking and captivating storyline was one of the best ways to accomplish that. The study guide takes it one step further by pulling the characters and situations off the pages so readers can experience an even stronger and more meaningful connection with them.” FULL POST

Posted 10/19/15 at 11:15 AM | Audra Jennings

Children Can Understand the Deep Truths of the Bible

The Ology, by Marty Machowski
New Growth Press

Theology is brought to life for young people in the new book The Ology (New Growth Press/October 19, 2015/ISBN: 9781942572282/$29.99), penned by celebrated children’s author Marty Machowski, with stunning illustrations by Andy McGuire.

The Ology is the first of its kind — a systematic theology book designed specifically for young people between the ages of 6 and 12. One might think the topic is too complicated for young minds, but Machowski disagrees. “It sounds more complicated than it really is. Theology is just the study of God, and systematic is simply study in a logical, organized way. We teach kids about God, one step at a time. We start at the beginning with God, who created the world, and end with the promise that Jesus is returning again.”

The book begins with a tale sure to draw in every young mind: In the cellar of an old stone cathedral, two children discover an ancient book that ushers them into a story of adventure, mystery and wonder. Together they discover life-changing truths about God, themselves and the world around them.

The Ology arrives during a time when society is presenting many values that run counter to how Christian parents want their children to view the world and themselves. It’s never been more important for kids to grasp important topics such as how God created Adam and Eve in His image — that they were the first husband and wife, the nature of sin, and our need for salvation. An early understanding of these important spiritual concepts will begin to build our children’s worldview during the critical formative years.

The Ology is also unique in that it includes built-in adaptations that make it captivating for younger kids while still stimulating for preteens. The book is subtly layered; from McGuire’s beautiful colored pencil-over-watercolor pictures, to the Bible references sprinkled throughout and the study guide in the back with probing questions, the book can be enjoyed and explored by the whole family. Even moms and dads will benefit from this easy-to-understand, step-by-step explanation of God and how he relates to all of us.

Machowski joins parents in their desire to foster a love in their kids for the Bible. “Parents want to see their children develop a love for God and live for him,” states Machowski. “That can’t happen without teaching them good theology and giving them the gospel message. The Ology only scratches the surface of a gold mine that runs miles deep. God’s Word is an inexhaustible deposit of truth. I’m just opening a door to an eternity-long study of God.”

For more information about The Ology, visit Also visit Marty Machowskis online home at and follow him on Twitter.

About the Author

Marty Machowski, author of The Ology
Marty Machowski

Marty Machowski is a family life pastor at Covenant Fellowship Church in Glen Mills, PA, where he has served on the pastoral staff for more than 20 years. As leader of their children’s ministry, Promise Kingdom, he has worked for many years to develop kids’ Bible curriculum and devotional material that connect church and home. His passion is equipping families to understand the Bible as one gospel story and help them share that with their children.

He is the author of the Gospel Story for Kids series, which includes The Gospel Story Bible, Long Story Short, Old Story New and the Gospel Story Curriculum, as well as the Advent devotional and curriculum Prepare Him Room.

Machowski, his wife, Lois, and their six children reside in West Chester, PA.

Posted 10/8/15 at 11:55 AM |

Q&A with Emmy® Award and Golden Globe Award® nominee Corbin Bernsen about his new novel "Rust"

Corbin Bernsen most recently starred as Henry Spencer on USA Network’s hit original series Psych. First catapulted to stardom during the 1980s by the hit NBC TV series, L.A. Law, he was nominated twice for both an Emmy® Award and a Golden Globe Award®. Along the way, he hosted Saturday Night Live, and guest starred on Seinfeld and Star Trek to name a few notable television appearances. In the feature film arena, he starred in the comedy Hello Again, followed by other critically-acclaimed roles in Disorganized Crime, Wolfgang Peterson’s Shattered, The Great White Hype, and as the Cleveland Indians’ third baseman-turned-owner Roger Dorn in the extremely popular Major League series of films. With the film Rust, Bernsen shifted his focus to family-friendly movies and formed Home Theater Films. Bernsen’s latest film project, Christian Mingle, was released in January 2015 by Capitol. Bernsen lives in Los Angeles with his wife of 26 years, actress Amanda Pays, and their four sons. His new novel from Pelican Book Group is based on his film of the same name, Rust. FULL POST

Read more