Thursday, April 16, 2015

Welcome to the Book blog tour of " A SPARROW in TEREZIN"


I received this complimentary novel to review from Litfuse Publicity Group.

ABOUT THIS BOOK:

Bound together across time, two women will discover a powerful connection through one survivor’s story of hope in the darkest days of a war-torn world.

Present Day—With the grand opening of her new art gallery and a fairytale wedding just around the corner, Sera James feels she’s stumbled into a charmed life—until a brutal legal battle against fiancé William Hanover threatens to destroy the perfectly planned future she’s planned before it even begins. Now, after an eleventh-hour wedding ceremony and a callous arrest, William faces a decade in prison for a crime he never committed, and Sera must battle the scathing accusations that threaten her family and any hope for a future.

1942—Kája Makovsky narrowly escaped occupied Prague in 1939, and was forced to leave her half-Jewish family behind. Now a reporter for the Daily Telegraph in England, Kája discovers the terror has followed her across the Channel in the shadowy form of the London Blitz. When she learns Jews are being exterminated by the thousands on the continent, Kája has no choice but to return to her mother city, risking her life to smuggle her family to freedom and peace.

Connecting across a century through one little girl, a Holocaust survivor with a foot in each world, these two women will discover a kinship that springs even in the darkest of times. In this tale of hope and survival, Sera and Kája must cling to the faith that sustains and fight to protect all they hold dear—even if it means placing their own futures on the line.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Kristy Cambron fancies life as a vintage-inspired storyteller. Her second novel, A Sparrow in Terezin, was named Library Journal Reviews’ “Pick of the Month (Christian Fiction)” for February 2015.

Cambron is an art/design manager at TheGROVEstory.com storytelling ministry.

She holds a degree in art history from Indiana University and has nearly 15 years of experience in instructional design and communications for a Fortune-100 company. She lives in Indiana with her husband and three football-loving sons, where she can probably be bribed with a coconut mocha latte and a good Christian fiction read.


A Sparrow in Terezin Book-inspired Grand Prize Giveaway – Connecting across a century through one little girl, a Holocaust survivor with a foot in each world, two women will discover a kinship that springs even in the darkest of times. In this tale of hope and survival, Sera and Kája must cling to the faith that sustains and fight to protect all they hold dear—even if it means placing their own futures on the line.
One grand prize winner will receive:
— A set of poppy notecards (Hand-crafted, artist’s cards)
— A poppy brooch/pin (vintage-inspired)
— I Never Saw Another Butterfly (the book of children’s art that inspired the novel)
— Mrs. Miniver DVD (the favorite WWII Era film mentioned in the book)
— Literary tea bags (a favorite gift I like to give friends)
— Tumbler (with poppies for Remembrance Day in Europe)
— A copy of A Sparrow in Terezin
You can learn more about the book HERE. Giveaway open to US and Canadian residents only.

MY REVIEW:
"A Sparrow in Terezin" is the sequel to Kristy Camborn's debut novel, "The Butterfly and the Violin." Which I'm sad to say, I have not had the pleasure in reading, but that will be remedied soon. I will buy a copy.

However, I digress... This novel is gut-wrenching, heart-breaking interlaced with dual plots. The settings are set in present day and during World War II.

This story depicts the horrors of the holocaust, the London blitz, the atrocities of war, the deaths that many suffered at the hands of the Nazi's, grave detail. I cannot imagine what they must have suffered and endured.

By reading Kaja's story, you visualize how the Jews were brutalized by the Nazi soldiers. They were beaten, starved and left to die in the streets. Sickness was rampant in the camps, and took many lives.  You will learn more about the precious children in Terezin and the art and poems they left behind.  We will never know their names, but the work of their little hands will forever be marked on our hearts.

(Want to know more about these little sparrows? "I Never Saw Another Butterfly: Children's drawings and Poems from the Terezin Concentration Camp" 1942-1944. In it you children's cute paper collages, watercolor paintings, pencil sketches, and poetry.)


Through the hopelessness of her ordeal, Kaja was able cling to and trust in God's love, which gave her the strength and courage to endure the horrific reality of her situation. She suffered much loss, including one so dear to her heart. Yet, she prevailed by knowing that God never left her side. And in the middle of that excruciating and haunting and horror, an unexpected friendship was bridged.

Sera's life is not as harsh as what Kaja had to face, however, her part in this story intertwines in such a unique way with Kaja's. I'll leave that for the reader to figure that out themselves. Spoilers...

She must learn to trust again, to lean on the Lord for guidance and for the ability to forgive and was reminded of the covenant she vowed to her husband at the altar.

At the end of this novel, I was literally moved to tears. I sat there, and pondered at what I just read. My heart stays heavy thinking about the loss of life, which was viciously stolen by evil that should have never been allowed to prosper.

Of the 15,000 children who are believed to have passed through the walls of Terezin, fewer than 100 survived.

We MUST never forget what happened during the Holocaust.


BUY THE BOOK


Saturday, April 11, 2015

The Great Yaqui Nation

I've been doing some research on the tribe my family is native to.  I'm still learning about these wonderful people and it makes me beam with pride to know that I come from such awesome stock.

Yaqui is a Uto-Aztecan language of the Sonoran desert.

The Yaquis were well accustomed to the many parts of North America. By 552 AD, Yaquis were living in family groups along the Yaqui River (Yoem Vatwe) north to the Gila River, where they gathered wild desert foods, hunted game and cultivated corn, beans, and squash. Yaquis traded native foods, furs, shells, salt, and other goods with many indigenous groups of central North America. Among these groups are the Shoshone, the Comanche, the Pueblos, the Pimas, the Aztecs, and the Toltec. Yaquis roamed extensively in pre-Columbian times and sometimes settled among other native groups like the Zunis.

It is said, "We had been told in a revelation from Heaven, that God had given to the Yaquis a homeland around the Yaqui River." The Yaquis trained themselves to fight, withstand pain, and die if necessary to protect God-given land and family life. By 1414, the Yaquis were organized into autonomous, yet unified, cultural and military groups.

If  you are interested in learning more: The Great Yaqui Nation

Thursday, April 2, 2015

Book Blog... Against the Flow, the Indepth study of the Prophet Daniel.

I received this complimentary book to review from Litfuse Publicity Group, the opinions are my own.

About the book:
 

Against the Flow
 (Monarch, March 2015)

Daniel's story is one of extraordinary faith in God lived out at the pinnacle of executive power. It tells of four young men, born in the tiny state of Judah around 500 b.c., and captured by Nebuchadnezzar, emperor of Babylon. Daniel describes how they eventually rose to senior positions of administration.

Daniel and his friends did not simply maintain their private devotion to God; they maintained a high-profile witness in a pluralistic society antagonistic to their faith. Their story carries a powerful message for us today. Society tolerates the practice of Christianity in private and in church services, but increasingly it deprecates public witness. If Daniel and his compatriots were with us today they would be in the vanguard of public debate.

This is a lucid and erudite examination of the life of Daniel from a leading expert on faith and science. In his first biblical work, Dr. Lennox provides a unique perspective on both Western society and biblical exegesis that will make Against the Flow an instant classic encouraging Christians to speak out in our modern Babylon.

Purchase a copy: http://amzn.to/1IoYQlO 

About the author:

John C. Lennox
 is Professor of Mathematics at the University of Oxford and Fellow in Mathematics and Philosophy of Science at Green Templeton College. He lectures on Faith and Science for the Oxford Centre for Christian Apologetics. He is author of a number of books on the relations of science, religion and ethics. He and his wife, Sally, live near Oxford.

My Review

I have always loved the Book of Daniel. And so when I was given the opportunity to read a more indepth study of his life, I jumped at the chance. Here is a man that was devoted to God and never wavered from his faith. Even when he was thrown into the lions den. He was an extraordinary man that deserves to be studied and emulated.  He is an inspiration to those that struggle daily with life's hardships and persecutions. A man worthy to be called, "prophet."

I also like the fact that this book has a "Questions For Reflection or Discussion" at the end of the book.  The questions are directed at the reader, and to see what they got out of the story and life of Daniel. Does it compare with today's society?  What do we think about the revelation God gave Daniel regarding the end times? Or the promises from God?  How He disciplined and why and how He did it?

You will learn the history, the places, dates and times of when this extraordinary's man life was
 depicted.  How he prayed, fasted and walked with the Lord.  I took so much out of this book. I have a deeper understanding of how faith works.  

God's kindness, love and devotion to Daniel and his companions makes you want to lean in closer and partake of His wondrous love.

This is a must read!  I highly recommend it to Believers and non-believers alike.  It is for any person that loves history.  

Friday, March 27, 2015

Does God really exist?

THE ISSUE: Can we know for sure that God really exists?
WHAT SKEPTICS SAY: It's foolish to believe in an invisible, impersonal God without empirical proof that He exists.
WHAT CHRISTIANS SAY: God's existence can't be proved. (At least scientifically.) Yet the weight of evidence not only makes it possible to believe in God's existence—it makes it very hard to ignore. The Holy Bible, as well as the accounts of reliable men and women through the ages, testify to the reality of God.
WHAT THE BIBLE SAYS: "You alone are the LORD. You made the heavens, even the highest heavens, and all their starry host, the earth and all that is on it, the seas and all that is in them. You give life to everything, and the multitudes of heaven worship you" (Nehemiah 9:6).
EVIDENCE VS. PROOF
While Christians can't give skeptics empirical proof of God's existence, we also can't prove the existence of some of our heavenly Father's more famous human creations—people like C.S. Lewis, George Washington or King Tut. Photographs, dollar bills and ancient artwork provide evidence that these humans existed—but not proof. Evidence points to fact. Proof asserts a fact irrefutably.
On the other hand, we can put a droplet of blood under a microscope and, through observation, give irrefutable proof (what scientists call empirical proof) of the identity of this fluid. We can even match it to a specific human or animal.
But we can't give empirical proof that C.S. Lewis, George Washington or King Tut ever existed. However, the weight of historical evidence indicates that they did exist.
GOD IS WHO HE IS
The same is true of God. In fact, evidence exists in the records of all world civilizations. From prehistoric times, the idea of God has existed in the mind of humanity. Perhaps that's because, as author Bob Hostetler points out, "The idea of a Supreme Being who made the world makes sense. The concept of God is what scientists call a highly convenient hypothesis."
In other words, the concept of God fits—almost as if our minds have a feel for God. So much so, in fact, that when people reject God, they invariably substitute something else.
So, what should Christians say to a skeptic?
I doubt that all the arm-twisting or eloquent speeches can convince a nonbelieving friend that all of creation belongs to God. (In fact, arm-twisting and eloquent speeches aren't exactly God's style.) Transforming a hardened heart is actually the work of God himself. Besides, proving His existence isn't as important as telling the world what you know of His awesome nature:
  • God is the sovereign Lord of Scripture who speaks to men through His Word, acts in His creation and in history, and involves Himself in the lives of His people.
  • God is the Shepherd who guides (Genesis 48:15), the Lord who provides (Genesis 22:8), the Voice who brings peace during life's storms (Judges 6:24), the Physician who heals the sick (Exodus 15:26), and the Banner that guides the soldier (Exodus 17:8-16).
  • God is the Alpha and the Omega, "the beginning and the end" (Revelation 1:8).
  • God is Immanuel, "God with us" (Isaiah 7:14).
  • God is our Father (Isaiah 9:6).
  • God is holy (1 Samuel 2:2).
  • God is love (1 John 4:16).
  • God Is (Exodus 3:14).

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

10 Fascinating Facts about the Wonderful Tarantula


Above is my very own grammastola rosea aka rose hair.  Everyone meet, Tiberius.

10 Fascinating Facts About Tarantulas

Most people would recognize a tarantula, but few know just what an interesting spider a tarantula can be. These big, beefy spiders strike fear in the hearts of arachnophobes everywhere, but in truth, tarantulas are some of the least aggressive and dangerous spiders around. These 10 cool facts about tarantulas will give you new respect for this amazing 


1. Female tarantulas can live 30 years or longer in the wild.  Female Tarantulas are famously long-lived. Even in captivity, they've been known to live for over 20 years. Males, on the other hand, don't make it much beyond reaching sexual maturity, with a life span of just 5-10 years on average. In fact, males don't even molt once they reach maturity.

2. The largest tarantulas have a leg span of nearly 10 inches, or about the size of a dinner plate.  Even spider lovers might have trouble sitting still with a 10-inch tarantula headed toward them. Movie directors love to feature tarantulas in their horror flicks, which has given these big, fuzzy spiders an undeserved bad rap.


3. Tarantulas are quite docile and rarely bite people.  
Many large predators would quickly make a meal of a tarantula, so they aren't too anxious to tangle with something as large as a person. And it wouldn't do a tarantula much good defensively to bite you, since its venom doesn't pack much of a punch. A tarantula bite is no worse than a bee sting in terms of toxicity.


4. Tarantulas defend themselves by throwing needle-like, barbed hairs at their attackers.  IF 
a tarantula does feel threatened, it uses its hind legs to scrape barbed hairs from its abdomen and flings them in the direction of the threat. You'll know it if they hit you, too, because they cause a nasty, irritating rash. Some people may even suffer a serious allergic reaction as a result. The tarantula pays a price, too – it winds up with a noticeable bald spot on its belly.



5. Tarantulas ambush small prey at night, stealthily sneaking up on a potential meal and then pouncing!  Tarantulas don't use webs to capture prey, they do it the hard way – hunting on foot. Smaller tarantulas eat insects, while some of the larger species will hunt frogs, mice, and even birds. Like other spiders, tarantulas paralyze their prey with venom, then use digestive enzymes to turn the meal into a soupy liquid. 


6. A fall can be fatal to a tarantula.  Tarantulas are rather thin-skinned creatures, particularly around the abdomen. Even a fall from a short height can cause a deadly rupture of the tarantula's exoskeleton. For this reason, handling a tarantula is never recommended. It's easy to get spooked, or even more likely, for the tarantula to get spooked. What would you do if a huge, hairy spider started squirming in your hand? You'd probably drop it, and quickly.


7. Tarantulas have retractable claws on each leg, like cats.
Since falls can be so dangerous for tarantulas, it's important for them to get a good grip when climbing. Though most tarantulas tend to stay on the ground, they sometimes climb trees or other objects. By extending special claws at the end of each leg, a tarantula can get a better grasp of whatever surface it is attempting to scale.


8. Though tarantulas don't spin webs, they do use silk.
Like all spiders, tarantulas produce silk, and they put this resource to use in clever ways. Females use silk to decorate the interiors of their burrows, which is thought to strengthen the earthen walls. Males weave a silken mat on which to lay their sperm. Females encase their eggs in a silken cocoon. Tarantulas also use silk trap lines near their burrows to alert them to potential prey, or to the approach of predators. Scientists recently discovered tarantulas can produce silk with their feet, in addition to using spinnerets as other spiders do.


9. Most tarantulas are seen wandering during the summer months, when males head out in search of females.
During the warmest months of the year, sexually mature males begin their quest to find a mate. Most tarantula encounters occur during this period, when males disregard their own safety and wander during daylight hours. Should he find a burrowing female, he'll tap the ground with his legs, politely announcing his presence. The courtship is quick, with the male quickly handing over his sperm and trying to escape. To the female, this suitor is a good source of much-needed protein; she'll often try to eat him once their marriage is consummated.


10. Tarantulas can regenerate lost legs.

Because tarantulas molt throughout their lives, replacing their exoskeletons as they grow, they have the ability to repair any damage they've sustained. Should a tarantula lose a leg, a new one will reappear as if by magic the next time it molts. Depending on the tarantula's age and the length of time before its next molt, the regenerated leg may not be quite as long as the one it lost. However, over successive molts the leg will gradually get longer until it reaches normal size again. Tarantulas will sometimes eat their detached legs as a way to recycle the protein.

Sunday, March 15, 2015

Lucille Ball in Lured.



This was such a FANTASTIC movie!

Plot:  Lucille Ball is an American girl working as a taxi dancer in London, who volunteers to work as a decoy for Scotland Yard to land a serial killer. Ball does a great job portraying a tough, smart gal and her rapport with some of the great character actors in the film is excellent. That's Boris Karloff as an insane dress designer and George Zucco as the cop assigned to watch out for Lucy.