Monday, January 23, 2017

Visit Us at The Book Connection

Cheryl's Christian Book Connection is taking a short hiatus. Between my work schedule and family responsibilities, I am cutting back on some blogging duties. Please be sure to visit us at The Book Connection.

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Book Review: A Tree's Christmas by James Andrew Bowen

A Tree's Christmas by James Andrew Bowen must be one of the most beautiful, magical tales of the season ever written.

As has long been a family tradition, once the season is over the Christmas tree is taken out to the yard and placed in the garden to lay until spring. After this particular Christmas, the trees around the garden wake from their winter slumber to hear the story of the young fir and the important part he played in the family's lives.

Once in a while a seasonal story touches your heart in such a way you can't help but share it. That's certainly true of A Tree's Christmas. I smiled. I cried. It truly warmed my heart. This is a book that will be treasured for years to come. The reading of A Tree's Christmas would be the perfect tradition to start in your home. I know I'll be starting it in mine.

Hardcover: 68 pages
Publisher: Clearview Communications Publishing; 1st edition (September 2, 2008)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0979359317
ISBN-13: 978-0979359316

I received a free copy from the publisher. This review contains my honest opinion, which I have not been compensated for in any way.

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

7 Things to Know about Christianity By Cheryl C. Malandrinos, Author of Little Shepherd

This is a guest post I wrote in 2013 while promoting my children's picture book, Little Shepherd. The blogger, Rebecca of Paperback Writer, asked me to share "7 Things to Know about Christianity." A tough task, despite being a Christian my entire life. Since God’s Word says it best, I offer you some of my favorite Bible verses.

Romans 3:23 “for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God…”

By itself, this is an inspiring verse for me. I’m not a perfect person. Despite my years of faith and desire to follow God’s plan, I fail. I’ve used this verse with some of our youngest Sunday school students to assure them everyone sins.

This is Paul’s response to the Jews who felt they had an advantage because they were God’s chosen people. In this chapter, Paul explains everyone needs to be saved through Jesus Christ. God doesn’t play favorites. None of us deserves the salvation God gives us. We have no right to brag about ourselves because nothing we do makes us worthy; a person is only made right with God through faith.


Romans 5:8 “But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”

There are several verses that discuss God’s love for us, but I feel this one is special because it points out that God sent His Son to die for us though we remain sinners. God doesn’t put conditions on His love; and what’s more, Christ willingly offered up His life for us.


Mark 12:30 “And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength.”

This is Jesus’ response when a scribe asked Him what the first commandment of all was. Seeking to discredit His ministry, the religious leaders of the time posed questions meant to find fault with Jesus. On this topic, there was enough contention among them already. Some felt the positive commandments held more importance, while others believed God looked more kindly on those keeping the negative prohibitions.[1] Neither held true. With these words Jesus focused on our true purpose as God’s people. We miss something very important if we don’t open ourselves up to a personal relationship with God. Only by loving God with everything we are, with every portion of our being, can we become all we are meant to be.


Psalm 84:10 “For a day in Your courts is better than a thousand.
I would rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God
Than dwell in the tents of wickedness.”

For whatever reason, David could not be at the temple in Jerusalem, and he longed to be in the place that symbolized God’s presence with His people. The last line of the second verse actually says, “My heart and flesh cry out for the living God.” Can you imagine how much David must have longed to be in God’s presence and with His people to say his such a thing? Can you picture what that type of longing must look like?

In verse 10, David is saying he would rather be a lowly doorkeeper in the house of God than to dwell with wicked people. Is that our mindset now? Do we look to the world to provide for us or do we look to God? Do we have hearts that long for God?


John 14:27 “Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.”

In an anxious world filled with dangers, trials, and tribulations, we have received the special gift of peace; a sure peace that we are no longer of this world, but that we belong to Christ. A peace in knowing our sins are forgiven. A peace that comes through Christ’s death and Resurrection. A peace that comes from knowing we will share eternity with God. A peace we can only know when we enter into a relationship with God and cast our burdens onto the Lord.

Jesus knew His time with the disciples grew short. He knew they would be facing the loss of their teacher and their friend. He knew they would meet opposition, just like He did. But the peace of God would help them, just as that same peace helps us cope with the hardships we face in life.


Matthew 28:6 “He is not here; for He is risen, as He said…”

Imagine being Mary Magdalene on that third day. She and the other Mary are walking down to the tomb where the body of Jesus had been hastily buried. Suddenly the earth is shaking; an angel of the Lord rolls away the stone and sits on it, scaring the guards to death. And then the angel tells you not to be afraid. Yeah right. But then the angel tells these women what they hoped to hear, “He is not here; for He is risen, as He said…”

This is as much a message of hope for us today as it was that morning. God promised He would send a Savior, and He did. Jesus promised He would rise again, and He did. God is faithful forever. We can put our trust in Him.


Mark 16:15 “…Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature.”

This is commonly referred to as “The Great Commission.” It is the last direct instruction Jesus gave to His disciples before He ascended into heaven. The Gospel of Matthew words it this way, “‘Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.’ Amen.”

This is the basis for evangelism and missionary work. Christians are charged, by Christ, to “make disciples of all the nations” and to be witnesses for Him to the end of the earth. This gives us the opportunity to put our faith into action. Not only that, it allows us to share the message of hope, love, and faith we know when we engage in an intimate relationship with God. Just look at the news these days. All the suffering. All the pain. This message can make a difference in people’s lives. We must share it.

1. Keathley, III, J.H., (2004, June 9). “The Paramount Issues of Life (Mark 12:28-31).” Retrieved October 25, 2013 from

Cheryl C. Malandrinos is a freelance writer and editor. She is the author of Little Shepherd, A Christmas Kindness, and Macaroni and Cheese for Thanksgiving. A blogger and book reviewer, she lives in Massachusetts with her husband and two daughters. She also has a son who is married. Visit Cheryl online at and her children’s book blog at
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Twitter Address: @ccmalandrinos

Monday, December 26, 2016

From My Wish List: The Mistletoe Collection by Richard Paul Evans

I bet many of you received some book gifts this Christmas. My son was kind enough to bless me with The Mistletoe Collection by Richard Paul Evans, which includes all three books in his Mistletoe series.

Elise Dutton dreads the arrival of another holiday season. Three years earlier, her husband cheated on her with her best friend, resulting in a bitter divorce that left her alone, broken, and distrustful.

Then, one November day, a stranger approaches Elise in the mall food court. Though she recognizes the man from her building, Elise has never formally met him. Tired of spending the holidays alone, the man offers her a proposition. For the next eight weeks—until the evening of December 24—he suggests that they pretend to be a couple. He draws up a contract with four rules:

1. No deep, probing personal questions
2. No drama
3. No telling anyone the truth about the relationship
4. The contract is void on Christmas Day

The lonely Elise surprises herself by agreeing to the idea. As the charade progresses, the safety of her fake relationship begins to mend her badly broken heart. But just as she begins to find joy again, her long-held secret threatens to unravel the emerging relationship. But she might not be the only one with secrets.

At thirty-two Kimberly Rossetti, a finance officer at a Lexus car dealership, has had her heart broken more times than she wants to remember. With two failed engagements, a divorce and again alone with no prospects, she hardly seems the type to dream of being a published romance author. Dreading another holiday alone, she signs up for The Mistletoe Retreat, a nine-day writing retreat in Savannah, Georgia. Deep inside Kimberly knows she's at a junction in her life and it's time to either fulfill her dream or let it go. The other reason she decides to attend the conference is because famed romance writer, H.T. Cowell, once the best selling romance writer in America, and the author whose books instilled in her the desire to be a writer, will be speaking in public for the first time in more than a decade.

In one of her breakout sessions Kimberly meets another aspiring writer, and one of the few men at the conference, Zeke, an intelligent man with a wry wit who seems as interested in Kimberly as he is in the retreat. As Kimberly begins to open up to him about her stories and dreams, she inadvertently reveals her own troubled past. As Zeke helps her to discover why her books fail to live up to their potential she begins to wonder if he's really talking more about her life than her literature. But as she grows closer to him, she realizes that Zeke has his own darkness, a past he's unwilling to talk about.

The theme of The Mistletoe Inn is that like literature, relationships must be lived with passion and vulnerability to succeed.

Dear Universe,
Is anyone out there?

Thinking no one is reading, a blogger who calls herself LBH writes about her most personal feelings, especially her overwhelming loneliness. She goes from day to day showing a brave face to the world while inside she longs to know how it would feel if one person cared about her.

Alex Bartlett cares. He’s reading her posts in Daytona Beach, Florida. Nursing his own broken heart and trust issues, he finds himself falling for this sensitive, vulnerable woman whose feelings mirror his own. Following a trail of clues LBH has inadvertently revealed, he discovers that she lives in the small town of Midway, Utah. He makes his way there just after Thanksgiving, determined to find LBH. Maybe she’s a Lisa, Lori, or a Luanne. Instead, he finds a woman named Aria, a waitress at the Mistletoe Diner, who encourages Alex in his search while serving his pie along with some much-needed sympathy and companionship.

Alex finally finds his LBH, a woman who is as beautiful and kind as he imagined she would be. How can he tell her that he knows her secret? What’s holding him back? Could it be his feelings for Aria?

Feel free to share any books you received this holiday. 

Thursday, December 22, 2016

Christmas Clearance at

The Baxters always spend Christmas together. Each family member struggles with their father’s decision to invite the new owner of their sister’s heart to such a joyous occasion. They may miss out if they choose not to go. Forgiveness doesn’t come easy when it’s yourself you must forgive.

These brief but power-packed devotions will bless your soul as you delight in the everyday gifts God provides. Open your heart and discover the extraordinary provision that comes in your daily walk with the Master Creator. This volume includes a presentation for gift-giving and a removable bookmark.

If your holiday wish list includes a menagerie of furry gifts that purr, wag their tails, and canter around the yard, then this is the anthology for you. Best of all, it's hypoallergenic and you won't have to feed it! Includes three heartwarming titles: The Christmas Cat, The Christmas Dog, and The Christmas Pony.

For these and more please visit

Monday, December 5, 2016

Book Spotlight: Sabbatical of the Mind by David L. Winters

While racing around the Washington Beltway on his way to a successful career, the author seemed to misplace his personal peace, purpose for living and a dream or two. Panic attacks and several humorous events led him to the conclusion that he needed to stop the World and get off for a time. David Winters' Sabbatical of the Mind chronicles his adventures in temporary unemployment, searching for answers to life's big questions and eventually, a successful re-entry into work and life. Come along for the ride and you just might find some answers to your own big questions as well.

Paperback: 208 pages
Publisher: Carpenter's Son Publishing (October 1, 2016)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0997774703
ISBN-13: 978-0997774702

Purchase here!

Friday, November 25, 2016

Book Spotlight: Arsenal of Arrows by Winslow E. Dixon

A war is raging around you, seeking your soul, home, health, money, career, friends, loved ones and peace of mind. Are you prepared for the daily battles against this dark,cursed world? Do you have enough arrows in your arsenal to fend off the attacks of Satan, his demons and human workers of inequity? This devotional challenge journal is intended to arm you with Biblical weapons so you can claim victory in your life’s warfare.

Paperback: 66 pages
Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform; Lrg edition (October 29, 2016)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1539530299
ISBN-13: 978-1539530299

Purchase here!