Thursday, March 24, 2011

Matt Bell's "Money and Marriage: A Complete Guide for...."

In this book by Matt Bell, my wife and I learned a few things we knew and a few things we were not completely sure about when it comes to money. Things like pointers on how to save and how to plan for the future really shed some light on our path to managing our finances. I agree with my wife about the worksheets and whatnot. I found them, at first glance, to be a bit cumbersome but with some time set aside to conquer them we had no problems. I give this book an 8.5 out of 10. I hope you and your fiancee or newlywed bride will have as much fun with this book as my wife and I did! My kudos to Matt Bell!

From my wife @southernfiberreads

Matt Bell's book Money and Marriage takes a look at finances for couples.  Not only does he give several real world examples for the need of a good budget in marriage, he backs up what he says with Scripture.  For engaged and newly married couples, it is crucial to talk through your financial views and beliefs with each other in order to know where the other one comes from.  Bell shows that even if you aren't on the same page, it is essential to understand and accept your financial differences and figure out how to work together as a unified team.  This book was written to guide and help couples toward understanding their own financial beliefs, and how to make those beliefs form healthy, Godly financial goals.

My husband and I really enjoyed going through this book together!  We have been married a year and a half, and are still learning some things about each other.  This book helped us look to the future as we plan how we will make major purchases and send our children to college.  The worksheets and quizzes, although a little intimidating at first, are well explained, and even fun to do if you sit down with the right attitude.  It was good for us to learn that our financial differences help us keep each other balanced.  I am not afraid to spend money, but without guidelines, I can spend more than I need to, as I have in the past.  My husband finds it more difficult than I to spend, and he helps keep my spending in check.  I am able to help him make necessary purchases that may cost more money since I am less afraid to spend.  This is just one example of a learning experience from this book for us - one of the ways this book helped us learn to accept our financial differences and make them work for our financial unity.

I really appreciate that Bell's book is grounded in the Bible.  In a sense, Bell uses God's words on finances to back up what he presents in the book.  Bell is not afraid to talk about giving generously to God and tithing, and where tithing should fall in your monthly finances.  He is also not afraid to say love God first.  These are some of those Biblical truths that, when practiced first and foremost, make everything else fall into place.  Bell has written a solid, Biblical, and straightforward guide to finances for engaged and newly married couples.  I believe that you will get as much, if not more, from this book as my husband and I did.  Happy Reading!!!

Matt Bell's (a.k.a Matt About
) Money & Marriage has just released (NAVPress) and is a great
resource for engaged or newly married couples.
Matt says about the book, “I wrote “Money
& Marriage
” because I believe in marriage. I’m sure it isn’t news to you
that money is a very common source of stress between spouses. It’s even a primary
factor in many divorces. I wrote this book with no less of a goal than to save many
marriages from disaster, and to help all couples use money in a way that strengthens their
relationship and increases their joy.”

To celebrate Matt has put together a Nest Egg Giveaway with a prize package worth over

One winner will receive:

•    A Free 1 Hour Financial Session
•    A $100 Visa Cash Card
•    A signed copy of Matt’s Money, Purpose, Joy and
Money Strategies for Tough Times

To enter just click one of the icons below. Then tell your friends. And hurry
- the contest ends April 11th. The winner will be announced on Matt's blog on April 13th.

Enter via E-mail Enter via FacebookEnter via Twitter
whether you're newly engaged or just celebrated your 30th anniversary.

About the book: Money & Marriage: A Complete Guide for Engaged or Newly Married Couples

In this thorough and practical guide, financial expert Matt Bell helps engaged and newly married couples navigate the merger of habits, flaws, and attitudes about money so two can truly become one.

His writing is full of helpful advice, Scripture, and practical steps to gaining financial freedom together as a couple. Learn to use money in a way that minimizes disputes and maximizes marital happiness.

Today, Matt is a full-time personal finance writer and speaker. He is the author of two books: "Money, Purpose, Joy" (September 2008) and "Money Strategies for Tough Times" (April 2009), both by NavPress. Matt has been quoted in USA TODAY, U.S. News and World Report, the Chicago Tribune, and Kiplinger's Personal Finance magazine, has written for, and has been a guest on WGN-TV and several nationally syndicated radio talk shows.

Matt holds a Master's degree in Interdisciplinary Studies from DePaul University, where he wrote a thesis about the emergence of America's consumer culture and its influence on people's beliefs and behaviors.

Matt lives with his wife and their three young children in the Chicago area. Visit his website and blog at

Visit the other people on the blog tour:


Christina at Will Blog 4 Books  

Penny at Momma to a Full House  

Apple Blossom at 4 the LOVE of BOOKS  

Victoria at Book Bookie  


Stephanie at 4 the LUV of SaNiTy

Jeanie at Soccer Mom in Giggle Town http//

Shannon at Dinglefest  

Jessica at Rambling Reviews - From a Mama of 3  


Carol's Corner  

Book Junkie Mom at Rainy Day Reviews  

Barbara at The World of Book Reviews  

Amanda at Reviewing My World  

Laura at The Book Tree  


Melinda Joy: Living, Laughing, Loving  

LaTawnia Kintz Reviews  

Scott at LaVigne's Blog  

Morning Cup With Meg


Reagan at Star Shadow Blog

Stephanie at Hungry  

Jeannine at My Bits and Bleeps  

Rebecca at Bzzing Mom

Kristinia at Loving Heart Mommy at  


Ponderings by Andrea  

Jennifer at For Such a Time as This  

Katie at The Romantic Type  

Naasom at Letras Santas


Kara at Ramblings-n-Writings  

Sojourn into Exhile  

Clint t Friar Tucks Fleeting Thoughts  

Jessica at Catholic Hearts Domestic Church


Melissa at Word Heard  

Katherine at Our Whiskey Lullaby

Jennifer at Quiverfull Family


Lumena at Pacifiers, Pumps & The World

Suzanne at Suzannesaphone

Valerie at Let's Just Give It Away


Brittany at A Flower in the Rain

Margaret at Cappuccino Life

Lori at Two Daughters, A Husband, and A Minivan


Nicole at Ramblings By Nicole

Melanie's Musings

Danielle at The Happy Wife

Tricia at It's Real Life


Caroline at Happy Four

Crystal at Thrifty and Frugal Living

Jill at Christian Work At Home Moms

Robert at Fundamentally Reformed


Brian at Live Generously

Carmen at Keeping Up Klapper

Scott at A Dad First

Emily at Southern Fiber Reads


Elizabeth at Be Joyful Always

Shawneda at Faithful Folios TV

Robin at Inspired by Savannah

Joelyn at The Days Go On...


Emmanuel at The Christian Watchman

Mary at Owlhaven

Michelle at Beyond The Silver and The Gold


Jenifer at Parris Ponderings

Maura at My Daily Life as Mom and Wife

Paula at Thrifty Mommas Brain Food


Revka at The Porch Light

Linda at One Desert Roses' Christian Book Reviews

Stephanie-jean at Life: Semi Crunchy


Joseph at My Whipple Family

Sharon at The Legacy of Home

Dawn at Guiding Light Homeschool

Brooks at Victorious Café

Monday, March 21, 2011

"Time Ninja" by Andy Schoepp

The year is 2101, global warming and a depleted ozone layer are destroying the Earth.  The human race lies on the brink of extinction with its only hope being a planet in another galaxy.  A raging civil war reigns supreme over the technology to transport people to that planet which can save the human race.  It is in this future that Master Ninja Ryu Kendo must obtain a special sword that can help him save his village from annihilation.  But the raging civil war may consume Ryu’s mind, body, soul and indeed his very being.  Will Ryu sacrifice his village for his friends, the woman he loves and for the future of humankind?  In Time Ninja, Andy Schoepp paints a vivid tapestry of an ancient, Japanese village in modern times and a future fraught with civil war, high-tech weaponry and characters fighting to stay alive with the Earth in peril of obliteration.  And, when Andy Schoepp combines the ancient techniques of Ninjutsu with the high-tech weaponry of the future, it will be a battle none will soon forget.  Time Ninja is a must-read epic that readers and Science Fiction fans won’t want to miss!

About the Author: Andy Schoepp holds a second degree black belt in the martial arts, in which he has trained for 14 years.  He has 8 years of martial arts teaching experience and is skilled in 10 different martial arts weapons.  He has also taught seminars on the self-publishing industry for Winona Community Education.  Time Ninja is Andy Schoepp’s premier in the Science Fiction genre.  He is also the author of The Martial Arts Murders trilogy, which includes The Martial Arts Murders (book one), Life and Money Heist (book two), and Moral Executioners (book three).  He is also working on a collection of short stories in the Horror genre, another martial arts related novel, a fiction novel for young adults and a possible spin-off or sequel to Time Ninja.


I recently received from author Andy Schoepp, a book that came to me, by mail from the author free of charge. The reason I picked this book to review was that I am an avid fan of science fiction type things. I like sci-fi television, books, memorabilia, and trivia. I thought that this book would do the trick to satisfy my need for a little sci-fi after reading some mysteries and romances. I have to say that this book caught me by complete surprise! I read the first few chapters and decided that this book was not exactly what I had in mind when I started reading. I tried a couple of times to get through more of the book but I was not able to. As any person who reads a lot of different books I didn’t want to disappoint an author who was truly seeking an honest opinion about his work. To this end I have to say that in my honest opinion that this book was not what I normally look for in a book. I do have to admit that this book was sci-fi and did have time travel, love, and a pretty good story line. If you are into action and futuristic world-saving reading than this is most definitely a book you should read and I guarantee you that it will be enjoyable for you. I do not typically read books that have vivid sexual content. Andy does a great job describing details and does not disappoint to convey through words what he wants you to visualize. I have posted along with this review some of the items that Andy sent me to help promote his book. I really do wish him well as he writes and look forward to seeing what else he has for us readers and bloggers alike. On a scale from 1 to 10 this book gets a 7.  

  • What is your book about? Time Ninja is about Master Ninja Ryu Kendo who is teleported to the year 2101 to obtain a special sword that can save his village from annihilation.  When he arrives, he finds a future Earth that is dying from out-of-control global warming and a depleted ozone layer.  There is also a civil war being waged over the technology to save the human race and Ryu finds himself getting reluctantly pulled into this civil war with the future of humankind at stake.
  • Why did you decide to write it? This novel had been in my mind for many years just itching to get out and I feel that I am an excellent storyteller and this novel is my masterpiece thus far so I just had to write it.  I also feel it is an important contribution to the Science Fiction and Action & Adventure genre due to the fact that it is epic in both length and scope.
  • What types of readers will be interested in your book? Science Fiction readers, Action & Adventure readers, Martial Artists and anyone who is interested in Ninjutsu or anyone who just loves ninjas (they are still big in pop culture).
  • What is special about your book?  What differentiates it from other books in the same category? I don’t think any other Science Fiction or Action & Adventure writer has ever pitted the ancient art of Ninjutsu against high-tech weaponry of the future.  Chapter 18 which is entitled Armageddon is what I consider to be my crowning achievement thus far.  Chapter 18 is essentially a 38 page action scene and then readers get to read a similar chapter (Chapter 33: Armageddon Revisited) which is a very similar action scene with different outcomes from Chapter 18.  All of this stems from the time travel elements of the story, a lot of things get revisited and changed from earlier chapters in the novel from Ryu taking two trips into the future.
  • Have you published any other books?  Do you plan to publish more? I am also the author of The Martial Arts Murders trilogy.  Book one: The Martial Arts Murders, book two: Life and Money Heist, and book three: Moral Executioners.  I am also working on a collection of short stories in the Horror genre, another Martial Arts related book which is NOT a part of The Martial Arts Murders trilogy and a sequel to Time Ninja.

More about Andy here @

Saturday, March 12, 2011

"A Trail of Ink" by Mel Starr

In this 3rd Chronicle of Hugh de Singleton, surgeon; Mel once again is successful in painting a picture with words that is unique. His style of writing and incorporation of archaic words help paint the picture that so vividly depicts a person who on a quest for truth using science and wit. The setting of this book in Bampton, near Oxford is a great place to set a mystery. Will Hugh find the thief? Will he find a wife? He is a single man of course....

What has happened to this medieval village? Will Hugh get the aid he needs? You will have to read this book to find out and you will be glad you did!

Here is a small excerpt from the book below:

[ Arthur has many skills, but dealing with books and words on a page are not among them. I thought of another employment for him. "Go to Northgate Street, and perhaps the castle foregate, and keep your ears open. It seem unlikely that a despoiler of books would seek to sell them there. But I have a few other plans. Perhaps a careless thief may let a word slip, and it be repeated."  ]

A Trail of Ink: The Third Chronicle of Hugh de Singleton, Surgeon (Hugh De Singleton 3) Please check out the other people on this blog tour.

Mark at Thoughts of a Sojourner I highly recommend this series.        
Amy at The 160 Acrewoods Literary - it tickles your senses and teases your literary skills not to mention if you are an ol’English fan that you’ll find the wit and repertoire between conversations quite keen.
Charlene at Quintessentially Quilly Mel Starr creates characters that linger in the reader’s mind long after the story is finished. These aren’t stories one rushes through, but, reminiscent of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s first Sherlock Holmes stories, are tales to savor.
Christina at Will Blog 4 Books Enjoyable plot and storyline.
The Ramblings of Two Readers Starr’s depiction of medieval life in the scholarly town is vivid and charming. I highly recommend this refreshing novel to both adult and young adult readers!      
Jami's Reviews Simply delightful!
Debra at Footprints in the Butter I had a tough time putting the book down. Hugh de Singleton is an incredibly likeable character.
Beckie at By The Book Starr brings to the page a vibrant look at medieval culture — from the clothing, habitations, and food to the customs and justice system of the time.  The characters are well developed.
Lulu at Knits and Reads                
Maggie at Tethered Mommy You’re in for a real treat with the third installment of the Hugh de Singleton mystery series.            
Brenda at WV Stitcher I loved it. The author rolls together mystery, suspense, and murder together to make the story a satisfying read.      
Vida at Sunflower Faith A very unique mystery. Starr has eloquently cpatured the times and customs and languages of medieval England.             
Tana at Little Bird Seeds A fun historical fiction story of murder and mystery with a touch of romance.              
Reviews by Jane A pleasant read - a good, simple, story.
Julie at One Book Shy of a Full Shelf The characters are rich and well written. A nice, even-paced novel with a lovely touch of romance thrown in with the mystery and drama.
Margaret at Cappuccino Life A story is a story, but a story that takes me to the place where it’s set and gives me rich imagery is a great story. Much chasing and fighting and more chasing and mystery-solving ensue.      
Mindy at A Room without Books is Empty I will definately be looking for the first two books in this series.                
Chelle at Chasing the Divine A Trail of Ink is uniquely written and contains some of the most delightful characters I have encountered in the written word.  There are unexpected twists and turns, and an unraveling of a well written tale.  Keep turning the pages, this book gets better with every line.
Lena at A Christian Writer's World Author Interview!     
Danita at Reviews & Life Impressed - very readable!
Diane at That's What I'm Here For This is one of the few books that I wanted to read slowly and savor like a tender, delicious steak. I really enjoyed the well researched facts throughout this book and instantly felt transported to this specific time and place in history. The author did a wonderful job of interjecting wit, a budding romance, and believability from one end of the story to the other. A simpler time but still abundantly filled with dastardly murder and much intrigue. 
Kim at Window To My World Another satisfying romp through fourteenth century England with this ancient crime scene investigator. I look forward to Master Hugh’s next adventure with great anticipation!!        
Katy at A Few More Pages While I found the mystery to be intriguing, I was won over by the characters. I loved Hugh's dry humor--the wit he employed in his descriptions of everything, from his lovely Kate to his enemies, often left me grinning. This was a fun read, with an engaging mystery and charming characters that I couldn't get enough of.        
Dana at Widsith  A Trail of Ink made me laugh. It's a pleasure to witness the irony, the wit, and the tongue-in-cheek remarks from the viewpoint of the book's humble protagonist. History buffs will fancy another outstanding aspect of the book: the skill with which Starr relates intriguing details about the time and place of 14th century Oxford, England.
Virginia at My Full Cup I honestly can’t possibly say enough good about this book. I read it in about 24 hours because I couldn’t put it down. Mel Starr is a master storyteller and a master at medieval  history. A Trail of Tears pulls you in and you find yourself shocked when it spits you out and you are in 21st Century America. I expected to see knights and horses, Dukes and Duchesses, long flowing robes and the English countryside.
Theresa at Faith and Family Reviews Enjoyed!
Sarah at Mommy's Minute 
Tammy's Book Parlor This is not a fast read but a read to be savored.  Hugh has a dry wit which I found to be quite funny. This is not a mayhem and murder mystery but more of a read. A definite 5 star read!  
Caroline at Happy Four Mel has an incredible way with words.  The novel has mystery, wit and very clean romance.  Starr is an incredible writer that draws you in to the location, plot and characters as you devour each written page anxious to learn more.  Mel's writing is superb and the story amazing.  I give this book a 5/5. 
Athena at Our Crazy Life His attention to detail was amazing and impressive. The story twisted and turned and kept me guessing until the end and I always appreciate a romance thoughtfully woven into history! 
Robert at Fundamentally Reformed It’s a fun and interesting tale, with a unique setting.             
Stacie at HobbitDoor This book was so fun! It was completely different than anything I've read in a long time. I felt it was reminiscent of the Sherlock Holmes books.
Nicole at Bless Their Hearts The books seems to fly! The characters are well drawn out and Starr gives you very good examples of the social levels and norms of the time. The mystery is more complex than you think it is and is a very enjoyable read!      
Danielle at The Happy Wife I was also intrigued by how the medieval methods of solving crimes, performing surgery, and just life in general were so different from today, yet in many ways, still the same.
Debra at Alabama Hoosiers The smells of the foods, the noises of the crowds, the jostlings of the wagons....all things I could smell, hear, and imagine tasting just from reading his words.       
Janet at Along the Way I especially enjoyed the accounts of the simple meals, their enthusiasm about daily life, and their simple enjoyment at being alive. 5 out 5!      
Barry at Gnostalgia An excellent medieval-era mystery.
Julie at One Rainy Afternoon This was a great mystery - it was like getting lost in another time. I loved it!  He keeps you guessing the whole time.  
Evelyn at Writing Sprite
Prism at A Girl of Many Colors    
Ruth at Thoughts from a princess   
Carlybird's Home
Jenn's RAQ        
Scott at LaVigne's Blog    
Jeff at No End to Books              
Three Different Directions  
Friar Tuck's Fleeting Thoughts
Jamie at Little Blurbs                  
Christy's Book Blog          
Susan at My Life - A Beautiful Disaster    
Charity at Giveaway Lady
Kate at Pink Hoodie ttp://    
Katie at Legacy of a Writer      
Hillary Our Homeschool Studio    
Pamela   at Daysong Reflections      
Joan at Book Reviews from a Avid Reader          
Stephanie at Curling Up By The Fire            
Lizzie at A Dusty Frame        
Jenifer at Parris Ponderings                
Janet at Home Is Where God Sends You      
Tammy at Tammy Is Blessed          
Becky at Christian Chick's Thoughts              
Andrea at Ponderings by Andrea              
Carrie at Farming On Faith            
Audra at My Meandering Mind            
Kathy at Bags, Books & Bon Jovi                
Kelli at The Zen of Motherhood    
Carol at Books Before Food          
Alexia at The Mommy Rambles  
Jen at Happy Little Homemaker    
Cindy's Book Club            
Mustard Seed Book Reviews
Nancy at Amusing Reviews
Jennifer at Mrs. Q: Book Addict            
Amy at Girlfriends Get Real          
Robin at Scribbles of the Heart          
Tracy's Book Nook      
Marjorie at The Writer's Tool            
Patty at Patty at Broken Teepee
Sarah at Growing For Christ
Michele at Korea Mom 
Melissa at Books R Us   
Blossom at North Laurel Home & School    
Kathy at I Am A Reader    
Kat at Blog O' The Irish    
Thou Art Jules  
Carol’s Corner    

About Mel Starr:
Mel Starr was born and grew up in Kalamazoo, Michigan. After graduating with a MA in history from Western Michigan University in 1970, he taught history in Michigan public schools for thirty-nine years, thirty-five of those in Portage, MI, where he retired in 2003 as chairman of the social studies department of Portage Northern High School. Mel and his wife, Susan, have two daughters and seven grandchildren.