Personal Writings And Book Reviews

Update On My Book: When Chicks Hatch July 5, 2010

I recently received my press release and publicity materials for When Chicks Hatch.  I’m working hard on the final edit and hoping that my novel will be in the hands of readers very soon.  Click the link below for more details.

When Chicks Hatch Media Kit


What’s In The Bible? March 28, 2010

Filed under: Heather's writings,reviews,Uncategorized — novelized @ 5:51 pm

A new video series has hit the market this month.  Phil Vischer, the creator of VeggieTales is pumped up about the new message of his series that centers on biblical theology presented at a child-friendly level.  The concept of What’s In The Bible? was God-driven.  It’s evidence that God is patient and He works things together for our good.

Check out Phil Vischer’s testimony about What’s In The Bible? and catch his vision to see a true understanding of the bible develop in the hearts and minds of children.

Watch the trailer for What’s In The Bible?

My family recently had the privilege of viewing an advanced copy of episodes 1 and 2.  Each of the episode combat  the educational problems of teaching the Bible in a format that pushes children to go deeper, while respecting the attention span of young children.

What can you expect from What’s In The Bible?

Adorable puppet characters tackle heavy questions like “What is the Bible?” “What’s it about?” and “Why should I care?”

You’ll meet quirky characters like Buck Denver the “Man of news”.  Buck Denver is the Anchor Man for Jelly News.  He has a wonderful segment titled Big Questions With Buck Denver.  In the segment he presents a montage of kid’s responses to tough questions.  I always enjoy the simple poignancy of a child’s answers.

Along with Buck Denver, children will meet Chuck Wagon.  He is a blue puppet from the Bible Belt who strums his guitar and explains the Bible in song.

Also, meet the Sunday School Lady.  She is a “professional” Sunday school teacher who travels with her magic flannel graph.  I love her!  She’s hilarious and a great throw back to the old school kid’s church.

Ian and Clive are twin explorer/ safari puppets that add humor, distract a little with silly elements, and ask just the right questions to keep kids focused.

Dr. Schniffenhousen is a scientist who looks at the surface of things while the Sunday School Lady jumps in and dives deeper.

Captain Pete the Pirate leads children through the history of the church.  He’s very informative.

Pastor Paul the puppet is on hand to answer some tricky questions.

Brother Louie is a jazzy theologian who loves scat.  He’s so cute!

Michael, Agnus, and Winnifred are peripheral characters that are viewing the show and making little comments along the way.  Michael is a little boy puppet who is a  passenger in his mom’s minivan watching the DVDs on a tv screen on his way to Grandma’s.  Agnus is a cynical old lady in pearls who is hanging out at home with her friend, Winnifred waiting for American Idol to come on.

The characters of What’s in the Bible each have funny and  engaging personalities that children are sure to love.

Children will learn about  how the Bible is made.  They’ll learn about the 66 books of the Bible using over 40 authors written over 1600 years.  The explanations of the Septuagint, Apocrypha and the differences between the Catholic and Protestant Bibles are handled in a very fair and neutral historical perspective.

Great questions are asked about what the bible is all about.

In Episode 1: In the Beginning children will learn how to listen to God’s voice and not others.  It covers creation and Genesis while explaining sin and how to avoid it.

Episode 2: Let My People Go! covers the topics of salvation, and redemption.  This episode also debunks some of the confusing myths about the bible presented in the DaVinci Code and other fictional accounts.   The plan of God’s rescue from our sin is laid out within the stories of the patriarchs.

I highly recommend What’s In The Bible? Phil Vischer is extraordinarily gifted at presenting the gospel to children.  Great job Phil!  Just stay away from the sew at home fabrics. 😉

Thanks for checking out my review.  Keep reading for some great freebies and a give away!

Click the link below to access free coloring pages!  Bust out the crayons and introduce your kids to Buck Denver. . . and friends!

What’s In The Bible Coloring Pages

If that’s not enough of a freebie, I have been given two gift certificates which I will be happy to send to two lucky readers!

The certificates may be redeemed at your local Christian bookstore for one free copy of What’s In The Bible? My winners will either receive a certificate for Episode 1: In The Beginning or Episode 2: Let My People Go!

How can you win?  Very simple.  Just comment on this post by six (Central Time) Monday, March 29th.  Please include your name, e-mail address, and the ages of your children.  *You do not have to include your child’s name (as this may be sensitive) just include age.  I will do a random drawing and announce my winner on Monday night.  Isn’t that simple?  Don’t miss out on the chance to win one of these great new DVDs!

Official Stop On The What's In The Bible Blog Tour

To get more information please visit:

This DVD was a complimentary product given to me in exchange for my honest review.


Start Here: Doing Hard Things Right Where You Are March 22, 2010

Filed under: Heather's writings,reviews — novelized @ 5:01 pm
Tags: ,


Start Here Doing Hard Things Right Where You Are  by Alex and Brett Harris reads like a manual for their previous book, Do Hard Things.  Where the first book inspires teens to be more than society expects, Start Here continues the talk by examining ways to start doing hard things.  The book discusses some of the hurdles that one may face to get an idea going.

I was astounded and blessed by the wisdom that these young men share.

I’m no teenager, (I’m 30 in fact!), yet this book has inspired and convicted me.  Their cautions on pride really stepped on my toes.  I think fear of being wrongly proud has actually held me back in some of the hard things I’ve tried to do.  Now they have equipped me with a safeguard for my heart by examining and explaining how to handle pride when it rises up in you.

I was also very impressed with their views on the difference between business and fruitfulness.  Wow was I ever convicted!

What makes this book especially cool is that Alex and Brett share real life stories of teens that have taken the concept to Do Hard Things and applied it in their lives.  From these stories Alex and Brett build their foundation for Start Here

Readers will find practical advice, timely wisdom, a list of 100 suggestions of hard things to try, discussions for deeper study of each chapter, and a greater motivation to stay faithful to their God-given callings.

Start Here is an excellent book for teens, or anyone taking the mission to go deeper with God and do the things he calls them to with excellence.

Awesome book!  Check it out here.

This book was provide for review by WaterBrook Multnomah.


Beneath A Southern Sky February 26, 2010

Filed under: Heather's writings,reviews — novelized @ 10:24 pm


Beneath a Southern Sky by Deborah Raney 

 Daria Camfield is expecting her first child when her husband Nate is reported dead on the mission field. Devastated, she returns to the States and soon marries again. But two years later Nate is found alive in the jungle. How can Daria possibly choose between the two men who love her?

My Review:

Beneath A Southern Sky  had an interesting and emotional plot.  As a reader I tend to have a habit of immersing myself in the characters and placing myself in their shoes.  In this case it was a very hard place to be.  I struggled to read Beneath A Southern Sky because I just could not relate at all to the character’s mindset.  I not only disagreed with many of her choices and responses in this book, but felt downright angry at Daria Camfield/Hunter.  I felt that she was a character who didn’t really know herself.  She was led into things by the men in hr life and never really took control of her own identity.  I was frustrated and unable to truly get behind her as a reader.

I felt like the author was trying to steer me in a direction I didn’t really want to go.  If I believed the love of my life was dead only to find him alive I would not view it as a tragedy.  Daria’s decision to move on after Nate’s death was not my problem.  Love happens.  Often it comes unplanned, but at a time when it’s most needed. 

My issue was with her response upon hearing that Nate was alive.  Her choice to stay with Cole or return to Nate was immaterial, she saw his life as a tragedy.  I couldn’t understand that.  At the least she should have felt thankful for the miracle of his survival regardless of the obstacle or inconvenience it created for her personal life.  I just didn’t feel her compassion for Nate.  I also wasn’t pleased with the “romance” between Daria and Cole.  I just didn’t like him as a character at all.  He was mean, controlling, impatient with Daria’s daughter and just unlikable.  Cole also kept a very huge secret from Daria well into their marriage.  To me, that alone would have been a deal breaker.  I couldn’t root for them.

This is a well written book.  The author does have a talent with words, but I failed to get behind her direction in this story.  I thought her characterization was also a  little weak.  Bottom line, I didn’t enjoy this book.  It isn’t a story I’d place on my list of books to recommend.  In the future I will look at other books written by Deborah Raney because she can weave a story.  Beneath A Southern Sky just wasn’t the story for me. 

You can find out more about Beneath A Southern Sky here.


Love and War February 13, 2010

Filed under: Heather's writings,reviews,Uncategorized — novelized @ 12:52 am
Tags: , ,

Together, John and Stasi Elridge wrote an honest and brave depiction of Marriage.  Love and War is a unique look at marriage from the perspectives of the husband and the wife.  The authors share with the reader the challenges of marriage that they faced and they cleverly use their experiences to tie in biblical truths.

John and Stasi teach readers how to discern that there is an enemy that strives to stop love in all its forms.  They explain how to handle differences and accept our styles of relating.  They encourage readers to know their spouse’s life story with the goal of better understanding their spouse’s personality and to help explain their spouse’s reactions.  They explain their path to healing hurts of the past and becoming vulnerable and open.  This healing task allows for a deeper relationship and makes room for our genuine honesty, where we are how God designed us and not the people we hoped to reshape.  Love and War tackles issues like expectations and the pressures that we place on our marriage.    Readers learn to fight for their marriage.  Yes it’s hard, but it’s worth it.

Love and War is a book you’ll want to read, think about, and discuss as a couple.  The transparency in Love and War is refreshing and insightful. 

Learn more about Love and War at the Waterbrook Multnomah website.

Happy reading!

This was book was provided for review by WaterBrook Multnomah.


the Voice New Testament February 1, 2010

Filed under: Heather's writings,reviews,Uncategorized — novelized @ 4:04 am

 The Voice New Testament is a new translation that uses  the careful input of biblical scholars and contributing writers.  Together they poured over the scriptures and created a translation that is modern in its readability without sacrificing the intelligence and literary richness of the Word of God.  The Voice New Testament includes devotional commentary and introductions to each book.

I began my review by reading Romans.  I was quickly hooked with the Voice translation.   The introduction was very well written and the flow of the book had a very personal feel without compromising God’s Word.  I usually read out of the New Living Translation because I have a hard time comprehending the King James Version.  To me, the Voice is a bit truer to traditional translations and I actually prefer it to the NLT.  This translation doesn’t dumb down the gospel or talk in slang.  It’s real and unforced.  It simplifies without doubting the reader’s intelligence.  I really enjoy reading this Bible. 

The Voice New Testament is printed in soft cover.  My copy had a huge flaw from the end of John to through Acts.  The typesetting is doubled and the pages were just too blurred to read.  Hopefully, not all copies were printed this way.  Flip through your copy before you buy and be sure.    

To find out more about the Voice visit Thomas Nelson.   

*As a member of BookSneeze, Thomas Nelson has provided me with a complimentary copy of this book.  I am not paid for my review.  I offer my opinion freely and voluntarily.


Dug Down Deep January 20, 2010

Filed under: Heather's writings,reviews — novelized @ 12:53 am

In his latest book, Joshua Harris challenges the all too familiar habit of playing church and urges Christians to return to the rock of theological study that can make a walk with God more meaningful.

Dug Down Deep is a brave and successful attempt at proving the need for orthodoxy.  Joshua Harris delivers theology in language that is understandable and easily applied.  He provokes the habitual Christian to lay aside the title of “Christian” and dig deeper to the heart of what they believe about God. 

Joshua Harris explains that everyone has a concept of God, some theological perception that shapes how we view and respond to God.  He challenges readers to seek God’s word and flips our perceptions upside down to get to the truth of who God really is through carefull examination of scripture.  Does your idea of God match scripture?  

Dug Down Deep takes the fear out of studying theology.  It captures the real hunger for God to strip away our ideas and pour in His truth.  Joshua tackles big ideas and explains deep concepts in a style anyone can grasp.

I think Dug Down Deep would work well for teens, new believers, or solid christians seeking a more sincere faith.  Expect to be challenged and inspired. 

I really enjoyed the conversational tone of Dug Down Deep.  Without sacrificing the seriousness of the topic ,he broadens the audience for theological study and puts it in terms that anyone can grab hold of.  Joshua Harris wrote like a friend sitting down with his pals and explaining the heart of who God is and why any of it should matter to them.  He’s real and transparent which makes this a very readable study of theology.

You can check out an excerpt here  to see what I mean.

Visit for more information on Dug Down Deep.

Also, on a slightly unrelated side note, if you have teens I recommend checking out this site.  You’ll find tons there to encourage a teen to a deeper walk with God, as well as excellent Josh Harris videos and posts from Alex and Brett Harris.

*In compliance with the Federal Trade Commission Rules please note that Dug Down Deep was provided for review by the WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group.