Archive for the ‘Books’ Category

Guest Post: What is Romance?

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In honor of the release of her third novel, Romancing Melody, author Carrie Daws provides today’s guest post. Romancing Melody is available in paperback starting today and in various eBook formats.

roseWhat is romance? Long-stemmed roses and fancy dinners, boxes of chocolate and nights on the town. Truth be told, I’ve always been a simple girl.

To me, one rose of the right color is even more perfect than a dozen roses in an expensive vase because one rose conveys three things: 1) my husband thought of me and took time to stop to buy something for me, 2) he cares enough to remember and look for a rose in my favorite color, and 3) he knows me well enough to comprehend that while I’ll enjoy the rose immensely, I will also be thinking of the financial cost to our checkbook.

And that’s really what romance is all about: lavishing love on another. I treasure that my man knows me well enough in big ways and small ways to understand what I like and what I think. Picking the right color tells me he listens when I speak. Choosing to purchase one rose over a dozen tells me he is cognizant of my preferences and personal convictions between stewarding our resources and wasting them.

I believe the whole point of romance should be relationship. Romance draws you in, makes you yearn for relationship. Relationship drives you forward, makes romance fun and Romancing Melodyexciting. They can work together, forming an ever-deepening circle.

But have you ever thought of romance outside of the dating or marriage relationship? If romance is nothing more than lavishing love on another to draw them into relationship, then romance could be used in broader terms. Yet I think we tend to limit its usage because we understand that romance encourages intimacy. And intimacy is scary.

Opening our hearts to those who may let us down. Sharing our fears with those who may belittle them. Discussing our dreams with those who may tell us to be realistic.

But no matter what person comes to your mind as you read this, God waits, quietly romancing you. Pursuing you. Wanting to draw you into a relationship with Him.

Just a few months ago, a friend went through an incredibly difficult time. And as I loved her and prayed for her, I could see God working all around her. Yet her heart hurt and she couldn’t see clearly through the pain.

As I prayed for her, God drew me back to some painful times in my own life. And I began to see the romance, God weaving His love all around me and drawing me into a relationship with Him.

It seems to be a unique perspective on this holiday about love. Yet it’s all over the pages of history. God so loved, He created. He called a people to Him. He knew the law wasn’t enough and He came to save His people.

And now, 2,000 years later, God still loves His people. He still calls, to you. He still comes. To you.

Do you see the romance?

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Novel Addresses Hardships Facing Military Families

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Romancing MelodyRomancing Melody is the Third Installment in Popular Crossing Series

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:  More than half of 3.6 million Active Duty military personnel in the US are married, 85% are under the age of 35 and slightly less than half have children.  The life of a military wife and mother is one author Carrie Daws knows personally and one she writes about in her latest book, Romancing Melody (Ambassador International; Feb. 2013; $11.99, paperback) in which she tells the story of a young newlywed and mother who must learn to trust that God has a plan for each of us.

Melody Podell is a new wife and mother when her husband is deployed to a dangerous region of the world. Feeling alone, she is unprepared to handle the tragedy that strikes and soon pushes away family and friends as they try to help her find solace in God. “The first problem is that Army life is not what she expected and she struggles to adapt. Shortly before her husband is deployed, Melody gives birth to their first child, and just as she is settling in, tragedy strikes,” explains Daws. Romancing Melody follows a relatable character as she faces tragedy and loss while focusing on the power of love and how God romances each and every one of us.

Romancing Melody is the third installment in what Daws says will be a four-part series. Crossing Values was released in early 2012, followed by Ryan’s Crossing in August. Just as with Daws’ other books, readers will find a free book club discussion guide as well as a character list available at These tools will help book clubs, small groups and individual readers delve further in to the themes and characters of Romancing Melody.

About the Author: Carrie Daws currently lives in North Carolina with her three children and her military retired husband.  She finds time to write when she’s not homeschooling her children, working at the church office, or volunteering with military ministries that are close to her heart.

To learn more about the author and her book Romancing Melody, visit or  For Interview requests please contact publicist Alison Storm at


Romance and Suspense Collide in New Christian Thriller

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Alana Candler, Marked for MurderNovel Reminds Readers How Living a Christian Life Can Be a Powerful Example of Faith to Others

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:  What would you do if someone was trying to kill you?  How do you love someone who doesn’t share your belief in God? Who do you trust? These are questions that Alana Candler faces in Joanie Bruce’s new thriller Alana Candler: Marked for Murder (Ambassador International; February, 2013; $14.99, paperback).  This suspense-filled novel follows Alana, a freelance photographer, as she flees from an unknown killer who wants her dead.

Soon after photographing a crime scene for her Police Chief brother Brad, Alana has the strange feeling that she is being followed.  Her fears come to fruition when she is kidnapped and left for dead.  After a handsome stranger, Jadyn Holbrook, saves her life and promises to protect her the two must race against time as the attacker chases her tirelessly.  As they spend more and more time together, Alana’s example of faith in God challenges and inspires a skeptical Jadyn who must come to terms with his own demons and reservations about God.

In a combination of nail-biting suspense and romance, Alana Candler: Marked for Murder centers around the importance of living your Christian faith, not simply declaring it.  “I hope with all my heart that my book will be a blessing and encouragement to someone,” says Bruce, “I pray that each of my readers will be encouraged, inspired, and that it will bring you a closer relationship to God”.

About the Author:  Joanie Bruce and her husband, Ben, live in a country home near Madison, Georgia where they raised and homeschooled their three children who are now grown.  She enjoys writing, cooking, taking long walks, and painting oil portraits.  Alana Candler: Marked for Murder is her first published book.

For more information about the author Joanie Bruce please visit or  For interview requests please contact publicist Alison Storm at


CLOSED: Valentine’s Day Giveaway: Win Flowers and Fresh Fiction

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Ambassador International wants to put a little romance in your Valentine’s Day! To celebrate the release of Carrie Daws’ latest novel  Romancing Melody, available in eBook February 14 and print March 7, Ambassador is giving you a chance to win a flower bouquet and a copy of the book!  Carrie Daws’ third book in the Crossing series, Romancing Melody, tells the story of a young military wife and mother who faces a terrible tragedy.  The book reminds readers that God romances each of us daily because “romance is more than fancy dinners and roses.  Romance is all about one person lavishing love on another, drawing them into a closer relationship.”

Celebrate the HolidayRomancing Melody of Love this year by allowing God to romance you!  To enter to win simply “like” Ambassador’s Facebook page AND complete at least one of the following:

  • Leave a comment on this blog post
  • Pin the book cover image on Pinterest and use the hashtag #RomancingMelody
  • Tweet using the hashtag #RomancingMelody (ie. I can’t wait to read #RomacingMelody, the newest book from@AmbassadorIntl)
  • Register to receive Ambassador International emails

You’ll receive additional entries for every step you complete. Win your copy of Romancing Melody and bouquet today and take time this Valentine’s Day to focus on the greatest love of all – God’s.

** Winner must be in the 48 contiguous states and provide a valid address accepted by to receive your flower bouquet. Winner will be chosen at random on February 15.



Eight Mothers Connected By One Doctor Share Their Stories of Life After Loss

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Surgeon and author Dr. Hisashi Nikaidoh searches for comfort after son’s tragic death

Healing HeartsFor immediate release: Pediatric heart surgeon, Dr. Hisashi Nikaidoh, makes a living performing life-saving surgeries on hearts the size of walnuts. In more than four decades he’s operated on thousands of them, and while many times the surgeries are successful, often patients pass away. In Healing Hearts: A leading pediatric heart surgeon learns about the journey from grief to life from these inspiring mothers of his lost patients (Ambassador International; May 2013; $14.99, paperback) Dr. Nikaidoh explains how it wasn’t until his own son Hitoshi was killed suddenly that he finally understood the magnitude of suffering that accompanies the loss of a child.

After his son’s death, Dr. Nikaidoh sought comfort from the very parents he had once tried to comfort. “What I eventually learned from these eight women who have so generously shared their stories for Healing Hearts is that it is possible to move beyond the excruciating pain of losing a child,” he says. The eight inspiring mothers have each contributed to the medical field– many even working in the exact hospital where their sweet babies took their final breaths, Children’s Medical Center of Dallas. “At least for these eight parents, it is possible to infuse their own lives with a deeper meaning by giving back to the very community that tried valiantly, though unsuccessfully, to save the lives of their precious children,” says Nikaidoh.

The eight mothers, who all share a special connection with Dr. Nikaidoh, are courageously and honestly opening up in the pages of Healing Hearts about the experience of losing a child. “God certainly blessed [Dr. Nikaidoh] with wonderful talents to allow him to surgically mend those tiny hearts. But He gave him an even greater gift to comfort the parents of those whose little hearts were not meant to be mended,” says mother and contributor Liz Etzkorn. Former US Surgeon General C. Everett Koop, who also lost a son, wrote the foreword for Healing Hearts.

Dr. Nikaidoh is the descendent of a long line of Buddhist priests, but became a Christian in his 40s. His faith completely changed the way he practiced medicine. “I no longer looked at life and death as being all about me—what I did, what I should have done, what I should not have done,” he writes. “My newfound faith and understanding of God’s hand in our lives had brought me to a place of greater freedom. Now that I was no longer feeling the burden and judgment of perfection, I felt a greater sense of freedom to be the best physician and surgeon I could possibly be and to more fully enjoy my work.”

Dr. Hisashi Nikaidoh, Director of Children’s Hospital at Saint Francis in Tulsa, OK, earned his medical degree from The University of Tokyo in 1959 and trained at Mount Sinai Hospital, New York City; Children’s Memorial Hospital, Chicago; and Case Western Reserve University Hospital, Cleveland. Dr. Nikaidoh is internationally known for the innovative surgical procedure that carries his name and his lifelong dedication to the care of children, for which he received the Children’s Miracle Achievement Award in 2011. In addition, Dr. Nikaidoh has been a long-time teacher of the Gospel and served on multiple missions, domestic and abroad.

To learn more about Dr. Nikaidoh or the eight contributing mothers visit, or To receive a review copy of Healing Hearts or to connect with the author please contact publicist Alison Storm by email at

Use Declutter Now for Church Book Studies

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Today’s guest post comes from Lindon & Sherry Gareis, authors of Declutter Now! Uncovering the Hidden Joy and Freedom in Your Life. They are Christian Life Coaches and small group leaders from Glendale, AZ. They’re announcing a new initiative to take Declutter Now! into churches.

Declutter Now group studyDeclutter Now! tackles the clutter taking up space in many areas of life. Decluttering your heart, mind, body and soul will leave you with the time, money, energy, freedom and joy that God desires for you. Less is truly more.

Declutter Now! has ‘Gone Group’! We’re delighted to have Northern Hills Community Church in Phoenix, AZ launch an eight week book study class. Each week, a new chapter is presented and discussed. Ideas are shared, truths are revealed and hearts are inspired.

Each chapter of Declutter Now! deals with a different area of life, so we cover a considerable amount of ground. The comprehensive nature of the material is ideal for group study since there’s ‘something for everyone’. Whether you need to declutter cram-packed physical spaces, harmful relationships, unhealthy eating habits, stinkin’ thinkin’, overwhelmed kids’ schedules or an unbalanced budget, most people can relate on some level, if not many. This sets the stage for insightful and provocative conversations.

We’ve found in group environments, the nature of the dialogue not only encourages personal growth, but meaningful relationship building as Declutter Nowwell. There’s a special bonding which occurs when people speak openly about their challenges and allow their weaknesses to break through. Just this past week during the current NHCC bible study, a class member shared her embarrassment over the clutter she’s living with. Her fellow class mates offered unconditional love, support and ideas void of any judgment. The acceptance and encouragement she received gave her strength to commit to the next step of her decluttering journey. Oh how we long to see her free from the bondage she’ suffering.

Declutter Now! is more than just a book. It’s a paradigm shift; a lifestyle change. A study through Declutter Now! offers inspiration to help get you from where you are to where you want to be. Group discussion takes our ideas, practical tips and life applications to an entirely new level. Unique situations can be personally addressed, support can be extended first hand and emotional connections can take root.

We encourage you to consider Declutter Now! for both individual and group study. We’d be delighted to help you construct a plan specific to your group or organization. Please contact us at We look forward to hearing from you!



Novel Explores Life of Woman Healed by Touching Jesus’ Garment

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just one touchAuthor Imagines Story of a Woman Who Endured Suffering and Was Healed by Faith

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:  In her debut novel, Just One Touch (Ambassador International; January 2013; $11.99, paperback), author Cynthia Goyang relates the story of the woman who pushed through the crowd in order to touch Jesus’s garment. Now a certain woman had a flow of blood for twelve years and had suffered many things from many physicians.  She had spent all that she had and was no better, but rather grew worse.  When she heard about Jesus, she came behind Him in the crowd and touched His garment.  For she said, “If only I may touch His clothes, I shall be made well.” – Mark 5:25-28 

Cynthia Goyang takes this short Bible story and creates a story of life and death, hope and salvation, and the power of faith.  Using her imagination, Goyang tells the story of this woman’s life prior to her encounter with Jesus and how it affected her life afterward.  “ I hope that readers will be encouraged to replace their fear for faith and reach out to touch Jesus Christ the Lord,” says Goyang. “My beginnings, like Sapira’s, were quite humble.  I grew up in a poverty-stricken, crowded household.  There were complete Colorado winters that we endured without electricity in our house.  But also like Sapira, my life changed dramatically when I surrendered it to Jesus.”

When a handsome, rich, young man asks to marry the poor potter’s daughter, Sapira believes that she is the luckiest girl in the world.  However, her life soon begins to unravel and she loses not only her family and wealth, but her health as well.  After suffering for years from a steady loss of blood, Sapira has all but given up hope until the day she hears about a man named Jesus.

About the Author:  Cynthia Goyang is a Christian, wife, and mother.  She and her husband Tony have three sons and enjoy spending time with their three granddaughters.  She was born and raised in Denver, Colorado as the second to youngest of ten children.  Cynthia met her husband while at school in Oklahoma and now resides in the West Texas town of Midland.  She is an avid reader and loves to use her pencil to illustrate the Lord’s principles.  Just One Touch is her debut novel.

To learn more about the author and her book, Just One Touch, visit her at or  To connect with the author, please contact publicist Alison Storm at




Children’s Book Combines Entertainment and Learning Tools

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Author Teaches Kids the Meaning of the Word, Literal

Literal LilyFOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Remember what it was like to be a child? To be excited about the first day of school? Not always understanding the things grown-ups say? Author Kate Hanscom does in her new children’s book Literal Lily (Ambassador International; December 2012; $14.99, hardcover) as she explores the use of language in a creative and imaginative way.

The charming story follows curly-haired Lily throughout the day as she shops for her first ever day of school. Lily’s learning experience begins when her mother exclaims, “Rise and Shine” which Lily proceeds to take literally as she adorns herself in sparkles and jewelry.  As the story continues, she learns that phrases are not always taken word for word and that language can be a fun tool used to express how one feels.

Hanscom, a new mom, says the idea for the book came to her in the middle of the night while she was pregnant with her daughter Allie. “My niece served as the model for Lily and my mother-in-law illustrated the book,” Hanscom says. “So it’s truly been a family affair.” The book teaches children not only about the use of language, but also manners and daily routines through everyday scenarios and lively characters.

About the Author: Kate Hanscom resides in central Massachusetts with her husband and daughter. With the love and support of her family, Kate decided to fulfill her dream of publishing a children’s book. Self described as loving “bright colors, fancy paper, fresh-smelling candles, writing, music, swimming, making lists, flip-flops, a really good pen, and french vanilla coffee”, Hanscom allows her own personality to shine through Lily in her first children’s book.

About the Illustrator:  Lynda Hansocm earned a BFA from St. John’s University and an MAT from the Rhode Island School of Design. Working as an art teacher for years, Lynda taught young children and teenagers alike how to express themselves through artistic forms. She continues expressing her passion and talent through book illustrations such as Literal Lily and previous book Tough Tommy. She lives in Northern Connecticut with her husband and credits her daughter, son, daughter-in-law, and grand-daughter as inspiration.

To learn more about the author and her book Literal Lily, visit or  For interview requests please contact publicist Alison Storm at