A Woman's Voice

Book Reviews ~ Tell the Enemy to Scat

Christine HornbackTell the Enemy to Scat! by Author Christine Hornback (Kindle Edition)

“Tell the Enemy to Scat” by Author Christine Hornback is a short, true story that packs a powerful punch! Christine and her husband have remained childless for almost twenty years when she hears “the still small voice” that tells her she is expecting a baby. They are overjoyed to say the least, but then, she is plagued for the first five months of her pregnacy with the possibility of losing this long awaited child. She hears the words from within and is inspired to “tell the enemy to scat” so she can carry out her pregnancy to full term. The glorious birth of her first son ensues. Christine’s faith and prayers have been rewarded but…she believes she is meant to have children…not only one child. Therefore, at 40 years old, she trusts in the Lord for the miracle of a second child . After more trials and tribulations, once again, “the still small voice” is there for her and she gives birth to a second son!

In her book, Christine Hornback openly shares her struggles and disappointments. She eventually takes off her mask and shows her despair to those around her as they reach out in prayer to help her during this difficult time. In the end, her belief and faith in God and the fact that He is true to His Word…wins out! Christine’s book is an inspiration to others as she coaches them to not give up their dreams, no matter the obstacles, so that they, too, can be triumphant!
Inspirational Author & Book Reviewer ~ Dolores Ayotte

Inspirational Author & Book Reviewer ~ Dolores Ayotte

November 19, 2013 ~ Book Review ~ Ghost Of Johanna

Posted in A WOMAN'S VOICE,BOOK REVIEWS ~ OTHER AUTHORS by doloresayotte on November 18, 2013
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“Ghost of Johanna” is a well-written and gripping fictional novel by talented Author Susan Earl.

Initially, Johanna along with her mother, are making their way to the United States from El Salvador to enjoy the freedom this country has to offer. Unfortunately, Johanna persishes at sea. However, she does not immediately leave this world and soon becomes, what appears to be, an imaginary friend to Angelina whose plight she can clearly identify with…Johanna makes every effort to lighten Angelina’s load. Although no one else is aware of her presence, the extraordinary connection between these two young girls forms an incredible bond. The ghost of Johanna is able to guide Angelina and her sister to safety through this mysterious and somewhat mythical method in which they manage to communicate.

This novel is a wonderful and encouraging book for the younger reading audience to enjoy. The author’s love for children shines through with every word she writes. Author Susan Earl is able to touch the hearts of both the adult and child with her apparent kindness as she reaches out to the reader from her own gentle heart.


BOOK REVIEW ~ Picking Strawberries in the Early-Morning Dew ~ July 18, 2011 by B.J. Robinson

The strawberry bushes were wet with early-morning dew. The mornings were cool and damp, and her hands grew wet and cold. This was her first experience with berries other than eating them. Her mother worked for a local schoolteacher picking the fruit, and she picked them before and after school to earn extra spending money. On the weekends, she picked for the same reason at her aunt’s strawberry farm.

Over the years, she’d have much more experience in the local berry fields and packing sheds, but at eight years old, this one would always stand out in her mind. She’d fill her carry as full as she could in her attempt to be like her mother and load it to the top, but she had to carry it such a long way to reach the shed. Some of the biggest, prettiest berries fell and made a strawberry path between the field and the shelf, where a packer took the carrier from her.

The woman said, “Your mother overfills hers, so you can just put enough on yours so you won’t drop and waste them on your way.”Okay.”

Those carriers were quite heavy for her small frame to lug all the way from the field to the shed, and she had to pass a pasture where horses and cattle grazed. At times, the cows would moo at her and spook her, which caused her to lose berries. Other times, the horses would run toward the fence as if they were coming after the carry of berries she lugged. She’d try her best to pass by quickly, and berries fell to the ground and continued to make a strawberry path.

Those early experiences proved to be important in later years when she found herself working her way through college. She was no stranger to the hot sun and a field or packing shed and used the experiences as stepping stones to her future. From a picker and packer, she worked her way up through Southeastern Louisiana University (SLU) and earned two college degrees, an AA in Office Administration and a BA in Business Education and Office Administration/Secondary Education with a minor in English, where she graduated with honors. During this time, her first college essay, “April Flood” was published in a local newspaper, and she won first prize for a short story in the university’s fiction-writing competition. It was published in Gambit, SLU’s literary magazine.

What do you think that prize-winning short story was written about? You guessed it. Strawberries and Southern superstitions, the title of her next release January 11, 2012. The fertile soil of Louisiana strawberry fields produces delicious crops and hard workers, and it’s where her values of hard work were nourished. Little did she know how important a role strawberries would later play in her future, as she braved horses and cows, hot sun, and a berry field at eight years old.

B. J. Robinson thanks God for all of her strawberry experiences and writes about berries in her novels. She is a Christian romantic suspense author, and her debut novel Last Resort releases July 15 from Desert Breeze Publishing Inc.http://stores.desertbreezepublishing.com/StoreFront.bok . It’ll be available at Barnes and Noble and Amazon.com as an eBook. It will also be available in all other eBook formats. She recently signed contracts for two others: Southern Superstitions, releases January 11,  2012, and Whispering Cypress, releases August 11, 2012.  Last Resort uses the backdrop of a strawberry farm to create suspense, and the author contrasts traditional grown berries to hydroponic ones.

LAST RESORT is set in Bridal Wreath, Florida, a fictional town, Key West, the Panhandle, and Plant City, Florida. Faith Grace Roussell vows to hide her heart so deeply in Christ that to find her, a man will have to find Him first, but will the true hidden treasures in God’s Word be enough when she collides with Matt Allen? Faith is stalked and forced to search her conflicted heart.  Will she be forced to use The Pink Lady? In a battle of love, loss, and raging jealousy, she strives to build a new life with peace and contentment, but Matt Allen has eyes like magnets she could get as lost in as unknown woods. Will he prove to be a helpmate or just another strawberry cull? She’s pursued by an ex-fiancé, shattered dreams, an awesome God, and a cowboy farmer. There’s only one place she can turn . . . .There’s only one last resort.

Faith left the city to return to the country home where she grew up, but someone wants her to pack bags, not berries. A series of incidents take place to try to force her to leave. When she doesn’t budge, arson, attempted murder, and murder kept the reader turning pages.

What early Readers Had to Say

“B. J. Robinson’s Last Resort is an inspirational romantic suspense story that keeps you hanging on the edge of your seat — both to see if the villain is overcome and to see if Matt and Faith end up together. You don’t want to miss this one with its twists; it’s a great read!”

Deb Haggerty, Author and Speaker

“The warm, sweet romance, yet insightful story, will touch your heart with its simplicity and charm.”

Janet Perez Eckles, Author and Speaker

What a book reviewer, a Long Ridge Writer
Student Had to Say …

What a great story! I loved how you drew your readers in so quickly and then constantly threw in twists and turns for them to deal with. Many women deal with losing what they thought was the love of their life to a failed relationship—it’s their attitude that determines how they proceed on from there.  By letting God lead her through the fiery trials that came her way, and trusting Him in the most difficult of times, Faith found her true destiny in life and love and it was everything she had ever dreamed.  This is a fabulous story of love, real life and how a positive attitude in Christ can lead you through even the most difficult times!  I highly recommend it and know you will leave the book feeling inspired and encouraged in your walk in the Lord!


LAST RESORT, a sensational strawberry romantic suspense story, will be on sale as of July 15 at Desert Breeze Publishing.http://stores.desertbreezepublishing.com/StoreFront.bok or  Amazon and Barnes & Noble.com

Read a free excerpt from Last Resort, B. J. Robinson’s Christian Romantic Suspense released by Desert Breeze July 15 at http://stores.desertbreezepublishing.com/-strse-184/B-J-Robinson-Last/Detail.bok


Sunflower is Barb’s precious companion.

Barb…it’s been an honor to feature you on “A Woman’s Voice” today. I wish you much success with the release of Last Resort!

THOUGHTFUL THURSDAY ~ MY OXYGEN MASK ~ February 10, 2011 by Dolores Ayotte

Posted in THOUGHTFUL THURSDAY by doloresayotte on February 10, 2011
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 Not too long ago, I was listening to a talk show on the radio.  I had turned on the radio expecting to hear music and instead there was a discussion going on about the joy found in being a Christian. My ears perked up and I couldn’t help but listen more carefully as the guest speaker described what he thought it was like to be a Christian.  He went on to say that God is supposed to come first in our lives (which I fully agree with), family and friends are supposed to come second and then we as individuals are supposed to come third.  He said that we have been put on this earth to serve others.

Based on my religious education I know that some people may believe this to be true but I also know that it is a hard ideal to live up to.  I want to be realistic about myself as a human being.  I know that with all my human weaknesses and frailties, I am not always able to put others before myself and my own needs each and every time.  I have come to realize that this teaching is not always meant to be so cut and dry and by putting myself last, I may not be obeying what God has in store for me as one of His followers.

I remember working with a gentleman who told me a story as he watched me trying to adhere to the rule of serving others. I wasn’t even aware that he was observing me in this way. One day while discussing business in his office, he reminded me of the oxygen masks on airplanes and how to properly use them.  He was a fellow Christian and he felt the need to reinforce the fact that I was supposed to put on my own oxygen mask first before I rushed around to help others.  I still find it interesting to this day that he chose to share this bit of advice with me.  Whatever he was observing about my behavior at work, he obviously felt the need to step in and give me a little fatherly advice.  I must admit that it was good advice.

I learned that it is perfectly okay to first take care of  my own needs in certain instances in order to better see to others and their needs.  Not everything said or read is so black and white. This gentleman took the time to educate me because he felt it was necessary to do so. For whatever reason, he thought I was risking my own health.  He stepped outside of his comfort zone to explain this concept to me.  I thanked him for steering me in the right direction.  By using this analogy, I learned to put on my own oxygen mask in life in order to make sure I was there for the long haul so I could better serve others according to God’s Plan and not mine.

At times, it is not only appropriate but very necessary to put our needs first so that we can actually serve God in the way that we were meant to serve. This man served me that day and I have learned to serve others in much the same way.   If I don’t have on my oxygen mask, I’m not going to last very long and I won’t be of any use at all.

“The highest reward for a person’s toil is not what he gets for it, but what he becomes by it.” (John Ruskin) 

“Christian” VS. Christ Centered –December 11, 2010 by Jennifer Slattery


I’m a people watcher. And I’ve seen lots of shattered marriages as well as committed. Among the committed, there are two varieties–those who dig their heels and do what it takes to make things work, and those who grow in increasing intimacy day after day. I’ve also talked with numerous “dig their heelsers” and found that when you get right down to it, one key ingredient is missing–the power to make it work. They are going in their own strength, which results in two people fighting against their sinful nature, doing whatever they can to earn or cajole or manipulate a desired response from their mate.

But a Spirit-filled, transformed marriage is a complete 180. It’s something I’ll never understand this side of heaven, but the closer I am to God, the more love I feel for others. Somehow, His love fills me, and pours out. Not a give-me, you scratch my back I’ll scratch yours, kind of love, but a genuine, deep from the heart, no strings attached, love. Not that I stay there. I’ve still got a healthy dose of Adam that gets in my way when I least expect it, but the more time I spend drawing near to God–through Bible study, prayer, and worship–the weaker that selfish dragon becomes and the stronger my love grows.

I’ve done it both ways. As I shared on Reflections a while back, there was a time when my husband and I almost called it quits. The only thing that held us together was our commitment to Christ and our understanding that divorce was not an option. At the time, I thought God was forcing me to live in a terrible marriage. Now, thirteen years later, we found He was inviting us to experience true intimacy. An intimacy that only comes when two hearts are totally surrendered to God.

Now, I do feel like  I need a bit of a disclaimer here. I’m not saying your marriage will always be roses and cream. What I am saying is, if you’re centered on Christ, the valleys won’t seem so deep and the mountains so difficult.

But actually, maybe I am. Steve and I have been through unemployment, vindictive and unwarranted lawsuits, job changes, moves, you name it, and because of Christ, those events that could easily have destroyed us brought us closer together. Now, fifteen years after I said “I do” I couldn’t envision a day without Steve.

The Bible tells us that the heart is wicked and deceitful. We deceive others and we deceive ourselves. We deceive ourselves by saying we’re doing better, we’ve conquered that sin, we understand true love, and we genuinely love others without looking for anything in return.

But if we turn to Christ–not out of some verbal commitment but a true heart-felt surrender, one that says from the depths of our soul, “Lord, I need You! Help me to know you and follow after You. Take my life and change me!” God gives us a new heart. He doesn’t just help us “do better”. He gives us the motivation, and the power, to carry it out. Most importantly, He fills us with an all-consuming, never-ending, life-transforming love.

In Ezekiel 36:26 God says, “I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh.”

He doesn’t say, I will show you how to behave better. He says, “I will transform you. I will free you from reactive living and your bondage to sin. I will fight your battle for you, will heal your deepest wounds, and will give you the love and security you long for.”

The Bible tells us that we all sin. We lie, we cheat, we brood over petty things and fight to get our own way at every turn. Often even our “good” acts are done for selfish reasons. Our sin separates us from God and holds us in bondage. Our sin also separates us from one another. But Jesus Christ, God in flesh, took our sins upon Himself and died in our place, so that we can be reconciled to God.

Here’s the deal–the real deal. Jesus didn’t die so we can follow a list of rules or join some club. He died so we can connect with Him on a heart-to-heart level. He died so that we could be filled to the full measure with His love and goodness. He died to set us free.

And this freedom and heart transformation is only a prayer away, because if we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 1 John 1:9

He’s already paid the price. His gift–the gift of intimate fellowship with our Creator and eternal life–lies at our feet, waiting to be opened.

If you’re tired of trying to go it alone, if you’re exhausted from all your well-intentioned efforts, life up your face. Salvation is here.

You receive salvation by admitting that you are a sinner who has fallen short of God’s holy standard, believing that Jesus Christ died to pay for your sins, and confessing Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior.

If you’d like to know more about what it means to truly surrender your life to Christ and receive His free gift of salvation, shoot me an email and I’ll give you my phone number so we can talk. My email address is jenniferaslattery@gmail.com

Be blessed. Be loved. Be transformed.

Jennifer Slattery is a freelance writer, novelist, and weekly columnist. She reviews for Novel Reviews, writes for Reflections in Hindsight and Christ to the World, and is the marketing representative for the literary website, Clash of the Titles. She’s also written for the Breakthrough Intercessor, Granola Bar Devotions, Bloom, Afictionado, and numerous other publications. In 2009 she placed first in the HACWN writing contest, book category. In 2010 she placed second in the Dixie Kane and fourth in the Golden Pen, in the inspirational category for both. You can find out more about her and her writing at jenniferslatterylivesoutloud.com

Here are two related posts from reflections: http://reflectionsinhindsight.wordpress.com/2010/06/18/cotton-candy-marriages/


Thanks Jennifer for sharing such an open and honest inspirational post with all of us.  To learn more about Jennifer please visit her @ : Jennifer Slattery

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