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Friday, January 22, 2010

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Brandilyn Collins novels available for free download

Dark Pursuit and Exposure by Brandilyn Collins available for free download at B&N for a limited time: 

Check it out!

Friday, January 8, 2010

Dinosaurs for Kids by Ken Ham

It is time for a FIRST Wild Card Tour book review! If you wish to join the FIRST blog alliance, just click the button. We are a group of reviewers who tour Christian books. A Wild Card post includes a brief bio of the author and a full chapter from each book toured. The reason it is called a FIRST Wild Card Tour is that you never know if the book will be fiction, non~fiction, for young, or for old...or for somewhere in between! Enjoy your free peek into the book!

You never know when I might play a wild card on you!

Today's Wild Card author is:

and the book:

Master Books (October 15, 2009)
***Special thanks to Robert Parrish of New Leaf Press for sending me a review copy.***


Ken Ham is the founder and executive director of Answers in Genesis in the USA and one of the most sought-after Christian speakers in North America. He is the author or co-author of many books and is heard daily on the radio program, “Answers...with Ken Ham,” on more than 300 stations worldwide. Ken is also featured in various videos including the series, “Answers in Genesis with Dr. Gary Parker,” and the 12-part series of 28-minute videos, “Answers...with Ken Ham.” Ken's teaching is clear, true to the Bible, engaging, and challenging. Many have found salvation and others have been encouraged and equipped to reach others with the gospel through Ken's ministry.

Visit the author's website.

Product Details:

Price: $14.99
Reading level: Ages 9-12
Hardcover: 64 pages
Publisher: Master Books (October 15, 2009)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0890515557
ISBN-13: 978-0890515556


Dinosaurs for Kids


Ken Ham, illustrated by Bill Looney

Dinosaurs can provide a great way to learn about history. You may already be familiar with some of these dinosaurs. These drawings show you what we think they may have looked like. Now, we don’t know for sure, of course, as we usually only find their bones as fossils (and most times, only a few of their bones). Artists use what bones have been found, knowledge about living animals, and some imagination to come up with drawings like these. See if you can pronounce these dinosaur names:

Dilophosaurus (die-LOF-o-SWAR-us), meaning “two-crested lizard.”
Styracosaurus (sty-RAK-o-SAWR-us), meaning “spiked lizard.”
Triceratops (tri-SER-a-tops), meaning “three-horned face.”
Megalosaurus (MEG-a-lo-SAWR-us), meaning “big lizard.”
Iguanodon (i-GWAHN-o-don), meaning “iguana tooth.”
Ceratosaurus (ser-ah-toe-SAWR-us), meaning “horned lizard.”
Deinonychus (die-NON-i-kus), meaning “terrible claws.”
Velociraptor (vee-LOHS-i-RAP-tor), meaning “swift robber.”
Ultrasaurus (UHL-tra-SAWR-us), was so nicknamed because of its enormous size.
Seismosaurus (SEIS-mo-SAWR-us), meaning “earthquake lizard.”

Did you know there are hundreds of dinosaur names? However, there were not hundreds of types of dinosaurs. There were a number of similar ones that should be grouped into categories known by what the Bible describes as “kinds.” Does that sound a little confusing? Well, this book will help to explain this and a lot of other things about dinosaurs you may not know.

(Pictures with names):


Before we begin, I don’t want you to miss out on knowing what my very favorite dinosaur is! In fact, I think he deserves this whole page to himself! It is the mighty Tyrannosaurus rex (ti-RAN-oh-SAWR-us-rex), meaning “tyrant lizard king.” I’ll let you in on a secret – I love T-rex because I like his teeth! I use teeth to teach kids and parents some very interesting things about dinosaurs – things that you may not have heard or really understood before. But it is very important to understand the truth about dinosaurs!


T-rex fossils are found in Canada and the western United States.
The first documented T-rex fossil was discovered in 1902 by Barnum Brown.
Scientists think T-rex skeletons were made up of close to 200 bones.
T-rex had around 60 teeth, which ranged in size based on their placement in the jaw of the skull.

With a strong tail extended for balance, an adult T-rex could be a little over 40 feet in length, 12-13 feet tall at the hips, and weigh between 5 and 7 tons. T-rex’s jagged teeth could be up to 9 inches long, and like sharks, the T-rex was able to replace teeth when one was lost.

What’s in a name? Remember that the T-rex name means “tyrant lizard king.” But secular scientists are still wondering whether T-rexes were active hunters or clever scavengers, or a combination of both. However, creation scientists are able to explain the evidence in a different way using the biblical account of history, as we will soon learn.


The word “fossil” is from the Latin word meaning “dug up.” Scientists often make assumptions about dinosaurs based on a few fossilized bones, bone fragments, or other fossil remains, impressions, etc.
Only a few thousand dinosaur skeletons have been discovered.
The vast majority of fossils discovered are marine invertebrates (creatures that don’t have backbones like clams).

I’m sure you have lots of questions about dinosaurs. I believe I can answer many of those questions for you because dinosaurs are not a mystery at all. I know someone who was there when dinosaurs came into existence, and was also there when they seemed to disappear from the earth. In fact, this “someone” has written a book for us that gives a detailed account of the history of the universe. He tells us when the earth began, as well as when all the living creatures and the first humans appeared.

Now, you may be asking “Who is this someone you say was there to see the dinosaurs?” He is the Creator of all things. He knows everything because He is all powerful and has always been around. And this Creator had a book written for us to give us the details of how time began, and how the universe and all life came into existence. This book also tells us who we are, where we came from, and why we exist. It also gives us information on what is going to happen in the future! There is no other book like this on earth. It is unique, and it is called…the Bible.

When you understand the Bible, you will understand more about dinosaurs. The Bible helps us to answer questions about dinosaurs and about the world around us today.

Bigger. Among the most widely known type of dinosaurs, the sauropods (“lizard foot”) are some of the largest creatures to ever walk the earth. Many of these dinosaurs are known by only a few pieces of bone fragments, and debate continues on just which dinosaur was the largest ever. As discoveries continue, more will be known about these massive giants. Sauroposeidon (“earthquake god lizard”) was considered the largest dinosaur ever to live, until the discovery of Argentinosaurus (“silver lizard”). Though only a few bones of each creature have been found, many scientists estimate that Argentinosaurus was larger, though Sauroposeidon may have been taller.

Smaller. Compsognathus (“elegant jaw”) is among the smallest dinosaurs discovered. A little bigger than a chicken, this dinosaur weighed around 6 pounds. Some scientists have found smaller creatures, like Microraptors, which they try to use to prove dinosaurs were the evolutionary ancestor of birds – real science and the Bible disprove this idea. Archaeopteryx (“ancient wing”) is another example of a creature once thought to prove this link, but that idea has now been proven false.

Did you know that the Bible is really a collection of books written by people specially inspired by God, the Creator, to write down exactly what God wanted us to know? The Bible tells us more about who God is and why we can always trust Him to tell us the truth:

The God of the Bible is the true God: “But the LORD [is] the true God; He is the living God and the everlasting King…” (Jeremiah 10:10).
The God of the Bible is infinite – He is all knowing, all powerful: “Great is our Lord, and mighty in power; His understanding is infinite.” (Psalm 147:5).
The God of the Bible lives forever – He lives in eternity – He had no beginning and has no end: “Now to the King eternal, immortal, invisible, to God who alone is wise, be honor and glory forever and ever…” (1 Timothy 1:17).
The God of the Bible is the only true God – other gods people claim to have are false gods: “Therefore You are great, O LORD GOD. For there is none like You, nor is there any God besides…” (2 Samuel 7:22).
The God of the Bible is all wise and all knowing: “…in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.” (Colossians 2:3).
Wow! What an awesome God.

The Only One.

Only God is a witness to the entire history of the world, including the history of dinosaurs. During the creation week, God created dinosaurs and flying reptiles. Pterosaur (“winged lizard”) like this one, could have wing spans of 30 feet. Stegosaurus (“roof lizard”) is easy to recognize with two rows of large plates running along its arched back, and its multi-spiked tail. Corythosaurus (“helmet lizard”) is a great example of dinosaurs with bony crests on their heads. Scientists think these crests were used in making sounds.

Does any human being (including any scientist) know everything? Has any human being always existed? The answer to both questions is, of course, NO. However, who is the only one who knows everything? Who is the only one who has always been there? The answer to both of these questions is, “the Creator God of the Bible.”

True History!

I call the Bible “The History Book of the Universe.” This is because it is a book that tells us how time and the universe began. And in the very first book of the Bible, the Book of Genesis, we are given a detailed account of not only how God created everything to begin with, but also major events of history that happened after creation.

You might be saying, “Wait a minute, haven’t scientists already found out lots of things about dinosaurs – that they lived millions of years before people and that they lived during the dinosaur age 200 million to 65 million years ago, and then they became extinct?”

Well, not all scientists say that! And though the majority of people today might believe that dinosaurs lived millions of years ago, the majority are wrong on this. And more and more people are now finding out the truth because they listen to and understand God’s Word!

My Review

My eight-year-old daughter, Laura (left in photo), writes, "I like seeing the dinosaurs and seeing what God created. The pictures are beautiful!" (In photo, left to right: Laura, 8, and Julia, 5)

As a parent, I so appreciate resources like this one that can make a difference in the lives of my kids. Beyond the artwork, which is exceptional, this book is filled with theology in a way my kids can understand. I've been spending time snuggling between my daughters and reading this book aloud to them. Sometimes I pause and ask them questions to be sure they understand what I'm reading to them because I believe that's important. This book, though it's mainly about dinosaurs, is really about so much more. It's about what the Bible says about creation and the flood; it's about why evolution simply doesn't hold up to science and the clear teachings of Scripture. 

My kids enjoy trying to say the various dinosaur names, and they particularly like the page that shows the dinosaur eggs. I've also found myself reading a good deal of the text and learning as I go, proving that this book isn't just for kids. Most importantly, this is a book I can trust won't fill impressionable, young minds with wrong theology and worldly principles. Thank you, Ken Ham and Master Books, for publishing this engaging, God-exalting resource I can read to my kids and show to my parent friends without apology.

It was a joy to hear Ken Ham speak at Northland International University back in October. I told my daughters, "That's the man who wrote the dinosaur book we have at home." You should have seen how big their eyes became! 

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Book Review: Hero's Tribute by Graham Garrison

About the Book

Genre: Contemporary
Publisher: Kregel Publications
Release Date: September 21, 2009

Michael Gavin was a local hero, admired for his prowess in sports, his service in the military, and his work in the community. But there is more to Michael Gavin—including a past that has long been hidden.

Wes Watkins is a local newspaper reporter whose job it is to find a story, even if it means digging through court reports, interviewing the most unlikely people, and following leads that make him unpopular.

When Wes finds himself charged with writing Gavin's eulogy—though the two had never met—he sets out to find the truth. What happens next is something the little town of Talking Creek never expected. Secrets come to light, confidences are broken, and lives are redefined. But in the end, everyone will know what truly makes a man a legend.

About the Author

Graham Garrison is a writer and editor who lives in suburban Atlanta. He has covered high school and college football games as a newspaper reporter, completed an internship with the U.S. Army at its National Training Center in the Mojave Desert and tested WaveRunners and Runabouts as the managing editor of a national boating magazine. He's written about battlefields for America's Civil War, interviewed medical innovators for Georgia Physician and even penned an editorial for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. When he's not writing, he's chasing his two-year old son Nicholas and their Beagle, Baxter around the backyard with his wife, Katie. Visit his website at


"A powerful and moving book about what truly defines a hero. Garrison perfectly captures the notion of officership and why a man is called to accept the challenge of military leadership. This is a good read."--Colonel Kevin Benson, US Army, ret., former Director, School of Advanced Military Studies, analyst, McNeil Technologies

"Hero's Tribute has enough clever twists and hidden hooks that you'll find yourself totally engrossed, and thoroughly engaged. This is one you'll be telling your friends about."--Scott Kelby, the world's #1 bestselling computer and technology author

My Review

Fellow Kregel author, Graham Garrison, cranked out a debut novel with superb writing and an unusual premise that is sure to get some readers talking. (I won't rehash the plot here; read the book description above.) I was instantly struck by the originality of his storyline and by his masterful prose. Prior to this book, Graham published a number of magazine articles and authored the book Groomed: From Proposal To Vows, Wedding Planning And An Engagement From A Groom’s Point of View. His experience as an author definitely shows in this deftly written tale that features strong characterizations and a thread of mystery that will leave readers guessing.

No, this isn't a typical whodunit but more of a "whydunit." Why did Michael Gavin ask Wes Watkins to write his eulogy? What happened to Michael's war medal? Did he give it away? Was he embarrassed to receive it? These questions lead the reader forward and fuel Wes's investigation, which initially leads him to people who say what everyone expects them to say: all the nice, flattering comments one would expect after the death of a town's prized athlete and a war hero. But as Wes probes further, he uncovers a flawed man who had secrets to hide and a strained relationship with his father, a problem that mirrors Wes's own experience. In the end, amid the revelations Wes uncovers the powerful truth that redeemed a flawed man like Michael Gavin and even offers Wes hope for his own troubled life. With a subtle but powerful message of grace, Hero's Tribute is a worthy read. My only gripes would be a smattering of locker-room-style slang and some sports lingo that was over my head; football fans should understand it, however. Beyond that, Hero's Tribute is a book you don't want to miss.