Review: Redemption Road by John Hart

Title: Redemption Road

Author: John Hart


Publisher's Insight:

Imagine: A boy with a gun waits for the man who killed his mother. A troubled detective confronts her past in the aftermath of a brutal shooting. After thirteen years in prison, a good cop walks free as deep in the forest, on the altar of an abandoned church, a body cools in pale linen… This is a town on the brink. This is Redemption Road. Brimming with tension, secrets, and betrayal, Redemption Road proves again that John Hart is a master of the literary thriller.


To quote a beloved character from The Big Bang Theory (yes I'm a geek), "Holy Crap on a Cracker!"

I'm going to let you in on a little secret. I met John Hart back in 2008. He was doing a talk at a bookstore in Raleigh, North Carolina withe Jeffrey Deaver. My friend (Hey Rose!) kinda knew, through her mother, Jeffrey and we were invited to have dinner with both authors after the talk. To my utter delight I got to sit beside John and I was star struck. He is such a wonderful person, and a delight to know. We talked about everything and every once in a while I'd throw a question in about writing. I wanted to be an author, which I had a book published, but it's no longer circulating since the publisher went out of business. So I was thrown into the world that is John Hart.

When I was offered a review copy of this book in exchange for my honest review I was delighted. I expected nothing but wonderful. I did love The Last Child and expected that this book would be no less gripping. And boy did John hit the mark with this book. Watch this video where John tells you a little about the book.

How could you not want to read that book?

I was gripped by the story from the first few pages, Adrian became the character in the book that I was in love with and wanted to make thing better. He was accused of something he didn't do, and served his time. He comes out into the world again only to be treated as the person they think he was, and he had become a harder man while in prison. Harder, but not in a bad way, if you were on the right side.

I wanted to be Elizabeth. She was a strong well developed character with lines that drew through her soul like the webs of fate. She was so complex, you had to keep reading to see her through her journey.

I am proud to say that John has hit this one out of the park. Way to go sir, I can't wait until your next book.

I received this product for free/at a discount in exchange for an honest review, but all opinions are my own. Most books are donated to the local library for circulation, or donation to the Friends of the Library.


Review: the CBT Art Activity Book

Title: the CBT Art Activity Book

Author: Jennifer Guest


Publisher's Insight:

Explore complex emotions and enhance self-awareness with these 100 ready-to-use creative activities.

The intricate, attractive designs are illustrated in the popular zentangle style and are suitable for adults and young people, in individual or group work. The worksheets use cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) and art as therapy to address outcomes including improved self-esteem, emotional wellbeing, anger management, coping with change and loss, problem solving and future planning. The colouring pages are designed for relaxing stress management and feature a complete illustrated alphabet and series of striking mandala designs.


As a person who has used CBT (Cognitive Behavioral Therapy) for many years, I found this book to be rather intriguing. Intriguing, you might say? Yes, because I'm a zentangle, doodle, and adult coloring book addict. I'm sure you never thought you'd hear someone talking about those things all together with CBT, but this book gives you the ability to use them all together.

When I received the book in the mail I was initially struck at how high quality the paper was. I know, small potatoes when you are reviewing a book right? WRONG! I've had books with pages the consistency of paper, and I'd never want to read them again they were that frustrating. But this book is well constructed and of high quality.

Now for a novice like me, I loved the graphics and topics that were presented by the author, Jennifer Guest. They, for the most part, were things that I could see myself using to work on some issues that I have within myself. (No insight for you, you know too much about me already from reading my reviews.) I loved the fact that I would be able to print off a copy of the worksheet (yes they are photocopiable) and spend some time working with them, then color the border. Yes, I'm a geek!

The beginning of the book gave a great detailed explanation of how the book could be used and the meanings of some particular psychological terminology. I found it quite insightful and helpful. The end of the book came with the bonus surprise (well not if you read the intro) pack of wonderful alphabet and mandalas to color.

Then I went over to an elementary school guidance counselor that I know and asked her opinion, figuring it would be much more insightful than mine. She said the following:

  • The prompts are simple but they get to the matter and emotion at hand.
  • The ladder sheet was introspective and would be good for problem solving.
  • They'd be engaging for anyone, not just the kids I work for. I'm just seeing this from my point of view.
So overall this book is a win for me. I might have enjoyed a little more adult themed pages, since I am adult, but like I said, they can be used for all ages, you just have to think outside the box.

I received this product for free/at a discount in exchange for an honest review. Since this is a 4 star review, I will be keeping it and donating it to the local school district for use with their at need kids.

New Doodle Art Alley Coloring Book! More to Love!

Raising Money for the Africa Study Bible

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Major Christian Organizations Partner to Launch Africa Study Bible Kickstarter Campaign Planned to Help Raise 1 Million for 100,000 Study Bibles 

“The Africa Study Bible is a project that has almost unprecedented ability to positively influence the body of Christ in Africa, perhaps more than other single continental-wide project in the history of Christianity.” --Dr. Danny McCain, University of Jos, Nigeria 

Wheaton, IL – Millions of English-speaking Africans know and love Christ, but for many, God’s word is hard to grasp. With nearly every full evangelical study Bible written from the viewpoint of the United States and United Kingdom, Africans have lacked a resource that connects with their unique experience, hindering discipleship. But that is about to change as major Christian organizations, led by Oasis International, are joining together to launch the Africa Study Bible (ASB), a six-year, cross-continental effort that has produced the first study Bible developed by Africans for Africans.

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“With the ASB, we’re bringing the power of Scripture to Africa in a new and culturally relevant way,” says Dr. Matthew Elliott, president of Oasis, publisher of the ASB. “Under the leadership of an 11-member editorial board of scholars from across Africa, we’ve brought together 350 writers and editors from over 40 African countries, representing 50 denominations. This is an unprecedented project that will impact the global church.” 

With the editorial nearly complete, Oasis, with the support of its partners, is inviting fellow Christians to join with them in helping get the ASB into the hands of Africans. With a goal of raising one million dollars to print the first 100,000 copies, Oasis is seeking private donors as well as launching a Kickstarter campaign, which begins April 18 and runs through June 16. Contributors to the Kickstarter campaign have the opportunity to receive incentives ranging from artwork prints to limited Italian leather editions of the ASB as well as all-expense paid trips to the launch of the ASB in the United States and in Africa.

“Our goal is to have the first run of the ASB available in Africa by the end of 2016,” says Elliott. “We already know of more than 100 million people in denominations and movements in Africa whose leaders want to use the ASB for discipleship so there is a lot of anticipation throughout the continent.” 

Designed to grow the faith of African church members, teach them to evangelize their communities, and apply a biblical worldview to their society, the ASB uses the New Living Translation and includes 2,400 plus features such as application notes, stories and proverbs, touchpoints that link Africa and the Bible, learn notes that explain basic theology, and major theme articles that apply the Bible to key issues. Oasis plans to initially release the ASB in English with French and Portuguese translations in development. Oasis is also developing a full-featured app of the study Bible.

To support the effort, Oasis is partnering with Tyndale House Publishers to create the study Bible. Other participants include Willow Creek and Willow Creek Global Leadership Summit, IFES (International Fellowship of Evangelical Students), Scripture Union, Africa Leadership, TransWorld Radio, Moody Broadcasting, Center for Early African Christianity, PJA (Publications pour la Jeunesse Africane), MMD Global, The Livingstone Corporation, InSight Books, Urban Ministries Inc., and the Association of Evangelicals in Africa, with additional participants being added on a regular basis.

“We have seen the hand of God in amazing ways throughout the development of this project,” says Elliott. “In the words of our supervising editor, Dr. John Jusu, the content of the ASB is bubbling up from the cultures of Africa. The biblical truth is percolating through our own cultures and stories to create a rich and textured tapestry that Africans can claim as their own.” 

 photo matthew elliott_zpswugiyfvb.jpg Spokesperson Bio - Meet Matthew Elliott

Dr. Matthew Elliott serves as president of Oasis International and project director for the Africa Study Bible.

Oasis International serves areas of the English-speaking world where people lack access to affordable Christian literature and the Bibles needed to mature in their faith. In these countries, the measure of annual incomes is often in hundreds, not thousands, of dollars. The great needs of Africa, in particular, drive Oasis to concentrate on this continent, where the Church is experiencing significant growth yet printed resources are scarce.

Matthew earned a bachelor’s degree in economics and master’s degree in New Testament at Wheaton College, as well as a Masters of Theology and a Doctorate of Philosophy in New Testament Studies from University of Aberdeen (Scotland). He was ordained at College Church in Wheaton, Illinois under Dr. Kent Hughes. He is the author of Faithful Feelings: Rethinking Emotion in the New Testament (InterVarsity UK/Kregel) and Feel (Tyndale House).

Matthew, his wife, Laura, and three children reside in the Chicago area.

For more information on Oasis and the Africa Study Bible, visit www.oasisint.net or www.africastudybible.com