5 Books I’m Thankful For + An Awesome Sale!


Like most other bookworms, great books make their way onto my “things I’m thankful for” list every year. It’s hard to choose favorites, but I went ahead and picked five books I read in 2015 and am thankful for.

  1. The Word Unleashed, by Steve Rzasa: This book really encouraged me in my faith and helped me through a period of change in my life. I deeply believe that quality fiction is one of the most powerful ways to communicate truth and inspiration. This book was proof of that to me.
  2. The King’s Scrolls, by Jaye L. Knight: Like Rzasa’s The Word Unleashed, my brother read this first and insisted that I needed to prioritize it on my to-read list. He has good tastes! I adore Jaye’s characters.
  3. When Sorry Isn’t Enough, by Gary D. Chapman: This is the non-fiction book that impacted me most this year. It’s due for a re-read since I can’t remember all of the concepts very well at this point.
  4. Priscilla & Aquila, by Lois T. Henderson: This is the last book I read, and I’m thankful for it because it bumped me out of the dystopian reading rut I’ve been in. Don’t get me wrong. I still adore dystopian and gravitate to it, but it’s always good to get a change of scenery. I’m currently working on Ruth by the same author.
  5. The Maze, by Will Hobs: I’m grateful for this book because it was really fun and relaxing to read it while I was traveling through the very place the story was set in. It was a great, surprisingly good find in a Grand Canyon visitor’s center.

I don’t know about you, but I’m looking forward to another great year of reading! Speaking of more reading, here’s one more thing to be grateful for. Books on sale! In honor of Thanksgiving and Black Friday, a group of independent Christian authors banded together to offer over seventy discounted books on Nov 27-30. There’s literally something for everyone.

Every single book listed on Indie Christian Books (Including my two books, Counted Worthy and Stories for God’s Glory) is on sale in one or more ways. Find discounted paperbacks, dozens of books offered with free shipping, $0.99 ebooks, package deals and more. Even if you have a budget of $0, new reading material awaits you.

Don’t know what to pick? The fearless Indie Christian Books team created a quiz that will generate a book list perfect for you! Check it out!

Book Quiz

What awesome reads of 2015 are you grateful for? What books are you looking forward to reading in 2016?

A note on the Ebooks Only page. All books are listed as “Sold Out.” This only refers to paperback copies of these titles. Please click onto the product pages to find descriptions and links to discounted or free ebooks.
Acknowledgements: Thanks to Leah E. Good for her work organizing this sale, Gloria Repp for completing the time consuming job of uploading book info to the sale website, and Hannah Mills for her fantastic design work on the website graphics. Hannah can be contacted at hmills(at)omorecollege(dot)edu for more information about her design services.

Stay Tuned


Hey everyone! Just wanted to pop in to let you know I haven’t fallen off the face of the earth. Quite the contrary. I’ve just been buried by a landslide of work going into organizing the magnificent Black Friday sale coming up!

We’ll get back to our normal Guess a Quote/Friday post routine next week, Lord willing. For now, do any of you bloggers want to get free books and help spread the word about the sale this Friday?

Guess A Quote [11.16.15]

Old-Fashioned Thanksgiving [GAQ]

Hi everyone! Hope your Monday has been going well. Since I’ve been working on organizing the Black Friday Sale (only two more weeks, eek!) it feels like the holiday season is setting in early this year! Have any of you started Christmas shopping yet? I have a few gifts tucked away, but I need to get cracking in earnest!

Last week’s quote came from An Old-Fashioned Thanksgiving by Louisa May Alcott. You can get a free kindle version of the story and the movie is pretty great too! :) Kudos to Lina-Ruth, conniepsaunders, and MissPeet for getting it correct. Great job to Amanda, also, for getting the author right! :D

This week’s quote isn’t specifically from a Thanksgiving story, but it is set during the right time period and the right season. It was a treasured “I CAN READ” book when I was little.

“You suppose it’s a real owl, Matt? Suppose it’s Indians! We might get scalped! Pa told me Indians sound just like that sometimes. Like owls, I mean.”

Happy Guessing!

Don’t Forget


I’m hosting a Jamberry party with a friend of mine who is a consultant for them. It would be awesome if you could join us. Even if you can’t, you can still take advantage of some of the benefits of the party. Katie graciously made free shipping available, so if you order wraps from her before November 23rd and mark “Leah’s party” during checkout, you won’t have to pay shipping!

Also feel free to enter the Rafflecopter drawing for a free Jamberry Application kit. ;)

You’re Invited

Jamberry Invitation

Hey everyone! This invitation is especially to the girls, but if any guys are hunting for Christmas ideas for their moms and sisters, they’re welcome too! A friend of mine (and fellow OYANer) is a Jamberry Nails consultant. She asked me to join her in hosting a Facebook party for my friends, and I said yes. :)

Join the Party

If you haven’t participated in a Jamberry party yet, it’s basically a Facebook event that gives you a no-pressure opportunity to learn about Jamberry Nail Wraps (and their other products), and play some games to try to win giveaways.

I tried Jamberries for the first time this summer. Friends gave me a gift card to get a few sheets of wraps, and I love them! Plus, four sheets lasted me all summer. You can get at least two manicures per sheet, and a manicure usually lasts me about two weeks.

Anyway, I’m really excited to support my friend’s business by hosting a party with her. I hope you’ll join us!


Book Review: Priscilla & Aquila

Priscilla and AquilaSometimes it’s fun to branch out and read something very different from your normal reading habits. Priscilla & Aquila certainly fit that description for me.

I stumbled across author Lois T. Henderson while skimming through various Biblical fiction novels on Amazon. She wrote a series of books based on the lives of various women in the Bible. Since the books were inexpensive (I think I paid $0.47 + shipping), I decided to give her a try. I picked Priscilla & Aquila because they’re my favorite couple in the Bible.

This book begins when 15 year old Priscilla learns that her family has decided it’s time for her to marry (she’s been of age for three years, after all). They even have a man in mind. Aquila has talked his father into approaching Marcus Justinius to request his granddaughter’s hand in marriage. Smitten by Priscilla’s unique appearance, Aquila doesn’t know of his chosen bride’s equally unique education. As they enter life together, both must wrestle with their position and responsibilities as man and wife. Things become even more complicated when Aquila becomes a follower of Jesus Christ and wishes Priscilla to be baptized with him. Life as followers of The Way is not easy. Driven from their familiar lives by conflict among the Jehovites, they must learn to follow the Lord, fulfill their Biblical roles, and be sensitive to the leading the the Holy Spirit now dwelling within them.

One of things that sets this book apart is Lois T. Henderson’s strict adherence to the culture of the times. Most novels set in Bible times only superficially acknowledge the gender roles and expectations of the time. This is not true of Priscilla & Aquila. The author does not shy away from extreme submission demanded of wives during this time period. Poor Priscilla, who loves to read and study Greek and the Torah, struggles to avoid all such things while pregnant out of a belief that “thinking too much” will hurt the child growing within her!

Priscilla and Aquila are both lovely, real characters. The author did not allow either of them to be cardboard, “perfect” people. They fear and grow angry, envy and weep. They also love fiercely and dedicate unflinching determination to doing what is right. The ease of relating to Priscilla’s hopes, fears, and deep inward desires is what drew me into the first 100 pages of this book.

Priscilla & Aquila is especially suited for readers who enjoy Bible fiction and classics. While not old enough to be a classic, Lois T. Henderson writes using a story telling style that will be best appreciated by those who enjoy old books.

P.S. Priscilla & Aquila are a married couple in a culture that emphasized a wife’s “comfort” to her husband. The author does not shy away from alluding to this aspect of marriage. It’s done very tastefully, but for this reason, I wouldn’t recommend this book for young readers.

Guess a Quote [11.10.15]

Squanto [GAQ]So. I guess I stumped all of you last week with the guess a quote. No one figured it out! Still, I’m sure your families–a few of them, at least–have this book on their shelves. Last week’s quote came from Squanto and the Miracle of Thanksgiving, a book that shines the spotlight on God as the hero of the first Thanksgiving.

Here’s another seasonal quote to puzzle over this week. ;)

They were poor in money, but rich in land and love, for the wide acres of wood, corn, and pasture land fed, warmed, and clothed the flock, while mutual patience, affection, and courage made the old farm-house a very happy home.

Happy Guessing!

Countdown to Books on Black Friday!

Black Friday

You guys have told me that one thing you struggle with is being able to afford the books you want. Well, I’m working hard to make that a smaller problem and twenty-two other independent authors are joining me! We’re planning a huge Black Friday sale featuring around 70 individual titles, but we need your help.

What do you want to see this Black Friday? Take a moment to tell us what will make these books most accessible to you.

Take the Survey

Our normal guess a quote post will go up tomorrow. ;)

What I Learned from Steve Rzasa’s Novel, The Word Unleashed

Word Unleashed, ThePlease refer to my review of, The Word Reclaimed.

What makes a book a hero level story to you? There are two things for me. The first is a superb writing skill. Some writers have an uncanny knack for crafting achingly real characters or plot twists that physically raise your heart rate. I give those books five star rating on Facebook and Amazon. But the second characteristic that makes a story “hero level” to me is even more important. Stories that teach me something. I don’t mean a wonderful non-fiction book (though there are a bunch of hero level non-fiction books) or a heavy-handed message in a novel. I’m talking about writers who may or may not have astounding ability in the technical aspects of story but can bleed pieces of their heart, inspiration, and life mission into the fabric of their stories.

Steve Rzasa’s books, The World Reclaimed and The Word Unleashed impressed an encouraging reminder upon me. The books are space odysseys that pulled me into the struggles of the characters, led me through more world-building detail than I personally care for, and left me with something far less fictional.

God Is Sovereign

No kidding, Leah. I hope you already knew that! Don’t worry, I know and have known for most of my life that God is sovereign. These books just drove the lesson home a little further. They shed light on the truth from a slightly different angle.

One of my personal favorite characters was a guy named Jason–a man charged with protecting antiqued copies of God’s word from destruction at the hands of Kesek. He anxiously watches Baden–the main character–carry an old copy of the Bible into dangerous situations. He urges Baden to take care, saying the precious Bible is not something to be carelessly waved around. As time goes on, Jason begins to recognize God’s hand at work.

“I feared the loss of Scripture and all it represented.” Jason’s breathing grew shallower. “The fear that there would be no evidence of Christianity beyond memories and scattered teachings consumed me. That is why I and the Seventy hid the relics we found.”

“But they do have to be protected.”

“Yes!” Jason coughed. Flecks of blood speckled his pants. Gail held out the subdermal spray but he waved it off. “They need protection, but not seclusion. Baden, you had with you the greatest gift God could give man, but now it’s gone. I should not have made you conceal it.”

Tears burned Baden’s eyes. “Hey, it’s all right. [Spoilers edited out] That’s what Jesus wanted, right? For everyone to hear.”

Jason’s expression brightened for a moment. “You have more courage than I.” He clapped Baden’s shoulder. [Spoiler] “The Lord will always protect his word. [Spoiler] With or without us.”

I’m like Jason–a worrier. I’m fearful. Concern for family members and friends, orphans and world catastrophes sometime fill my mind and put a cloud over the brightness of God’s omnipotence. I’ll tell you some inside information. No matter how much time I spend worrying, my anxiety changes nothing (Luke 12:22-32).


My brother likes to repeat the quote, “When you see God panic, that’s a good time for you to panic too.” These books reminded me of that. Characters who were not seeking God and were not influenced by Christians stumbled across God’s word and were changed by it’s power. Jason had to learn to trust God in troubling situations.

I was reminded through the emotional impact of story that it’s not up to me to fix the world’s problems, get people saved, or put them on the right track. I can only follow God’s commands and pray to be His tool as He heals the wounded, saves the lost, and guides His followers along the path He set for them.

What have you learned from the books you’ve read lately?