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text 2015-06-27 06:31
Welcome to the June 2015 Celebration Edition of Songdove Books Newsletter!

Welcome to the edition that generally heralds two major national holidays!  One of them sees a host of normally reserved people suddenly break out in red and white, bbq block parties, multicultural celebrations across the nation and fireworks displays by certified pyrotechnic teams.  The other holiday sees typically patriotic people putting on the red, white and blue, taking off to baseball games, breaking out the bbq and engaging in backyard fireworks displays for themselves and the rest of the street.  At both holidays flags are flown, worn, draped, hung, displayed as cakes, artwork, fruit trays and anything else that can be decorated in the national colours.  

I think by now, most of my readers know which two holidays I'm talking about, and they both take place next week!  I'm referring to Canada Day on July 1st when Canada celebrates it's 148th birthday, and Independence Day on July 4th, when the United States celebrates it's independence from the Crown of England.

To citizens of both countries, I wish you joyful, sober merry-making, and a time when you are able to gather with friends and family to remember the best of what both countries have to offer, giving thanks to God for granting us the mercies He has over the years and seeking His guidance going into another year as a nation.

These days, national leaders are more in need of God's wisdom, discernment, insight and foresight than ever before!  To my Canadian readers, remember that your Prime Minister is a fellow believer in Christ and is deeply in need of your prayers for God's wisdom to permeate his decisions.  He isn't a perfect leader, but no nation on the planet is able to make that claim.  Pray for your brother in Christ and for his family, that they will seek God in all they do.  Give thanks to God that our Prime Minister unequivocally stands by Israel when almost every other nation is against them.  In making this stand, our national leader has ensured God's blessings on our own land no matter what mistakes you may have trouble forgiving him for.  

To my US readers, I am seeing quite a bit of dismay at the things your federal government has been doing, and there is much discontent with your President in many circles of society.  Scripture commands us to pray for our leaders, and I urge you to pray for your President like never before!  Bombard heaven's gates to have God turn his head in the directions God wants him to go as Proverbs says God does.  Scripture says if we pray for our leaders, that we will invite God's blessings over our own lives and families.  So while it's currently quite popular to dump on Obama and his surrounding leadership, may I instead ask as we approach July 4th this year, that you take time to intercede, to repent on behalf of your nation and government, and seek God's face on behalf of those who lead your nation.  Stand in the gap and pray for wisdom, for guidance, for discernment, for insight for foresight, both for yourselves at home and for your government at all levels.  Examine your life, your hidden thoughts and hidden convictions, and seek God's cleansing and restoration for yourself, your family, your church and your community.  It is only as people allow God to move through the dark recesses of their individual lives that entire communities and even entire nations can be changed.  Gather in your prayer groups this July and fall on your knees before the only God who will hear and take action on your behalf.  May July 4th 2015 be known as the date when American fell to it's knees in humble repentance, and rescued a nation on the brink of disaster.

To those who live overseas, as you scan the news online or flip the channels on your television set, it is clear that there is trouble brewing worldwide at this time.  Unrest has taken over major areas of the globe as governments and religious groups try to crack down on those who do not follow their creeds.  As these scenes cross your screen, reach out a hand toward that screen and pray over those going through these troubling times.  Pray for comfort for those losing family members, pastors, and community leaders.  Pray for those committing such crimes and claim their souls for the Kingdom of God outloud so that they are unable to die until they have made Christ Lord.  Pray that the Holy Spirit will invade troublesome governments and tight-fisted regimes, that in these last days the name of the Lord will be lifted up.  Pray for peace, wisdom, guidance, discernment, insight and foresight for the governments and leaders at all levels right where you live.

Yes, this is a call to prayer.  This is a call to self-examination.  This is a call to surrender to the cleansing fire of the Holy Spirit so that you are free to do battle in the heavenly realms on behalf of those who can't.  This is a time for the army of Christ to stand up and be counted!  Nation after nation is falling prey to the forceful voices of sin demanding that their sin be legalized, accepted, respected, and not only tolerated but engaged by those who these voices know right well will not do so.  Christians in "free" countries are being dragged through courts and heavily penalized for standing up for their beliefs where once they used to be free to do so.  

Darkness is falling across the globe as we enter the wee hours before morning when Christ will return for His Church, the Bride of Christ.  The birth pangs as of a mother in labour according to Matthew 24, are upon us and getting closer and closer together.  The frequency of these pangs are causing some to think we have entered the Tribulation period, although Christ said these were only precursors to that time.  Even as precursors however, they are catching people off-guard.  They are creating panic and heartbreak and even the earth is not immune.  The saying goes that it's always darkest before dawn.  However it is also said that one small candle can light an entire room when that room is darkened.

We live in dark days that are only going to get darker and more troublesome before the great and terrible Day of the Lord comes.  The enemy of our souls knows his time is short and he has begun his offensive.  Christ when looking out across time to this period says Himself, will He find faith on the earth when He returns?  Indeed, will He?  Only you and I can answer that question for ourselves and for those we love.  Only we can engage in intercessory prayer for those God places on our hearts.  Only we can ensure our own hearts and minds and our own outward daily walk is upright and clean before the Father.  Only we can ensure that our Robes of Righteousness have been washed by the Word so that Christ can present us blameless to the Father.  

Remember that your heart-felt prayers are powerful!  Not because of what you say, but because of Who is listening!  Lastly, remember Psalm 91. . . Read it before you go to bed tonight, and read it often in the days to come.  Create a poster and copy and paste the passage into it, print it and post it on your kitchen or living room wall for all to see as the days get darker.  If you were tried in a court of law, would there be enough evidence to brand you a Child of the King?  Take time this coming week of celebration, to make sure you will be celebrating your citizenship in Heaven.

Seasonal News

June was marked by one major word for this author this year. . . GRADUATION!!!  As a soundtech at my church, I do events at various times of the year.  This month I did three graduation ceremonies, one for a nursing school and two high school graduation ceremonies.  These were followed by a middle school awards night.  Amongst all that were two funerals, which were graduations of a sort all their own.  I'm not sure where one graduated to, but the other for sure graduated into Heaven.  Two copies of "Mom's Little Black Book: Godly Advice for the High School Graduate" sold this month as well, bringing the final total to somewhere around 33 books being given to grads this year.  It is my prayer that this little book blesses each and every graduate receiving it, long into their young adult years and beyond.

Prayer Cards From "A Year in Prayer With Jesus"

"A Year in Prayer With Jesus" prayer cards continued, with month's three and four added to the list over at gumroad.com.  I need to schedule month four into hootesuite but finally have the picture versus link figured out.  Now the focus is where it should be, which is on each prayer card every five minutes from 7am Pacific time to 7:30am PST.  These are being shared via      
-and my author profile on G+. (although twitter users must click the FB link to see the images).  I've begun work on month five, but as you can imagine, life has been busy and I have either been too exhausted, or had other things to keep track of.

Month One: https://gumroad.com/l/PC-YPWJ
Month Two: https://gumroad.com/l/PC2-YPWJ
Month Three: https://gum.co/PC3-YPWJ
Month Four: https://gumroad.com/l/PC4-YPWJ


It's interesting as I look back over the past month, that subjects God's had me writing about on my blog tie in so closely with what I felt I had to write in this newsletter tonight.  Obedience, Gratitude, reverence for God's Word, guarding our heart, and remembering the nature of God Himself.  I would strongly urge, if you don't already follow my blog as sporadic as it is, that you take time to read the blog posts shared at the end of this newsletter this month.  Some of the posts below contain links to other posts because it made more sense to share previous blog post links than to write everything out all over again.

So grab a cold tall iced tea and plate of your favourite summer snacks, and take time to read through these articles.  In light of all that is going on in the world, the Church around the globe, and in our very own lives, these thoughts are timely and challenging.

One more article that isn't below, but that I pray encourages many of you, will be seen in the sidebar of any article you click on.  "I am thy part and thine inheritance".  Take a gander at that one as well.  You won't regret it.

May God go with you into the coming week.

View past newsletters.

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review 2013-10-31 09:00
Intercession by Pepper Espinoza
Intercession - Pepper Espinoza

The Blurb...


After fifty years of searching for his lost brother, vampire David Derringer attempts the unimaginable: he bends his knee in prayer. While he doesn’t believe, his mother’s faith was strong, and her final request—a request made the night she and David died—keeps David on the path to his younger brother, Danny, despite the many obstacles. David doesn’t expect his prayer to be answered. He certainly doesn’t expect an angel to intercede on his behalf.


Jophiel is tasked not only with helping David find his brother but with saving David’s soul. It seems like an impossible assignment meant to punish him, especially when they must face the Brotherhood of St. Rocco, an organization dedicated to eradicating vampires. But David has a chance to prove he’s not like other vampires when he meets Arthur, a young man with a secret and a death wish.


Following a very steamy encounter, Arthur expects to be bitten. David never even drops his fangs. Which is a good thing, since Arthur might be the key to finding Danny before it’s too late.


So what did I think?


I found this story unique and engaging. It tells the tale of David who has been searching for his brother for 50 years. As his desperation increases he turns to a church and prays for help. Help arrives in the form of angel Jophiel.


David has led a vampire's life but he is not like the other vampire's who roam the earth and live in the sewers, avoiding the Brotherhood, an organisation who hunt down and kill vampires. David's mission to find his brother Danny means he risks his life as he searches.


Jophiel is tasked with helping David and is convinces he does have a soul. He joins David on his journey and finds himself tempted in ways he never expected. Be prepared for some angel sex which is pretty spectacular! "He let his soul seek out David's as he rose up, let his heart sing, and chronicled every second, every unnecessary breath and gasp and sigh and squeak between them."


Vampires, angels, the mystery of Danny, attacks by the Brotherhood and temptations of the flesh - there's a lot going on and it makes for an interesting and engaging story. Things get even more interesting when David and Jophiel meet Arthur which adds a whole other layer of complexity.


The downside to this book? Yes, there's a pretty big one - the story just ended! I was left thinking what happened? it can't just end there! I understand there might be a sequel but when? It would be a real shame for the story not to continue so fingers crossed that a sequel is published!


This is a 4 star read!


To find out more about Pepper Espinoza visit the website.


Buy Intercession from Amazon.


Buy Intercession from Dreamspinner Press.

Source: wp.me/p3t48J-oE
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review 2013-08-21 00:00
Intercession - Pepper Espinoza
2.5 stars

The blurb really whetted my appetite… ingredients for an interesting recipe that left me unsatisfied:

take one Vamp with some shred of humanity left in him

add one ex-archangel seeking his own redemption

stir in one human with a death wish

Mix well into a hot PNR menage romance. Right?

David, on the run from gangs of vampire hunters, stops to send up a prayer in a church. It’s the last place you’d find a vampire, but he begs God for an intercession. He asks for help in fulfilling his dying mother’s last wish, to find his younger brother. This gets some notice in Heaven, and Jophiel is assigned to helping David. But when he discovers a small light glimmering in David, Jophiel’s task becomes another intercession, the saving of a soul. Arthur’s involvement, why he, a weak human, would knowingly hook up with a vampire (and thumb his nose at death), is crucial to the story and related to David’s quest. Arthur has secrets of his own.

So, the set-up gets extra points but there were some things I just wasn’t feeling. The interaction between David and Jophiel wasn’t remarkable. Don’t get me wrong, I liked David, he added humor with his flippant wise-cracking, But it felt like this detracted from that heavier darkness I wanted to feel in his story— the darker he was, the greater his redemption would be. And I got Jophiel’s turmoil, that he didn’t fit into heaven and its politics; yet he desperately wanted to prove his angel value. His investment in helping David— the redemption of his remaining humanity from vampiferocity— added to his character. But them together as a couple? Not so much. It really wasn’t until the ultimate sex scene between all three guys, sensual and inventive, that things finally started cooking. Arthur’s acting as a conduit between David and Jophiel was cool, and hot. A sexual mediation and a high point of this thing. But was this enough?

The scenes in heaven distracted and the religious expounding became annoying— and these were a large part of the story. I need careful handling of any religious subtext to avoid preachiness and while it didn’t quite get there, it was too much for me. The vamp hunting monks could have been interesting in their twisted righteousness but they became caricatures and I couldn’t take them seriously. In the end, the recipe for deliciousness just didn’t mix well.

And the ending? A big HFN, that’s ‘holding’ not ‘happy’ for now; a sequel seems to be in the offing. This was not indicated in the blurb and I don’t think it’s spoilering to mention it here… a big no-no, homey don’t play me that way.

For this review and much more:
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review 2013-05-08 00:00
Intercession - Pepper Espinoza I'm quite at loss as to how to review this, honestly. I had already finished it two days ago, but due to circumstances, I postponed the reviewing and rating of this book until now. I regret that now. Sometimes, it's best to write a review whilst you're still bathing in the afterglow of wonderfulness. And it truly is that-- wonderful.

The plot was solid and definitely intriguing, with various twists and turns (a lot of which resulted in angry pouting...). Not only that, one of the things that really pushed this book up there for me, and made it all the more fabulous, was the characters. Having an angel, vampire and an itty bitty human thrown into the mix can allow for a lot of over-the-top, cliche and flat characterisation but I loved the characters. I thought they were wonderfully built, and reacted and acted in a way that actually made sense and didn't seem forced and I was seriously pleased. And apart from all those stupid technicalities, I was just plain fond of these characters. There were only a few characters that I was unsure about I'm not so sold on his brother, honestly. I thought his character was a bit contrived, but necessary to the plot, I suppose..

Following on from characters, I feel the need to specially mention how God was portrayed. I have never been 100% sold on how God is portrayed (in all of the different books and in different ways), and I probably never will. However, I found that in Intercession, while I still wasn't exactly comfortable, it was still (relatively) believable and didn't divert my attention from the book much. Some books choose to portray God as really 'in', and hip, with the slang and all the shebang. I really really hate that, especially when it's overdone and frankly, it feels blasphemous despite the fact I'm not even Christian (I'm not even sure how that works), it just feels disrespectful. Others choose to portray him closer to tradition: all knowing, all powerful and it's usually incredibly cheesy and cringe worthy. But I like the fact that in Intercession, God safely on the right side of 'modern' (without being seeming juvenile, or ridiculous) and definitely didn't stray into the realm of discomfort for me.

Something else I found absolutely delightful was the writing. It flowed smoothly, quite descriptive and definitely a joy to read. Not only that, there was this wonderful sense of reverence that seemed to radiate off the words. And not in the religious sense either. Every kiss, touch and moment together contained this reverence, this sense worship for love and all of these warm and stunning emotions. It made what was already some pretty great sex scenes (yes, the sex scenes were hot, heh) much more profound and meaningful.

Overall I adored this book. It was definitely a good read with a strong plot and a wonderful romance backed up by equally wonderful characters and just plain loveliness. There has to be a sequel coming (I refuse to believe otherwise, even if it hasn't popped up on goodreads yet) and I eagerly (and impatiently) await my chance to read it. The set up for the next book just about killed me.

Rating: 4.5 STARS
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review 2013-05-07 00:00
Intercession - Pepper Espinoza
4.75 rounded up

I don't usually do vampires...and I try to avoid books with angels but something about Vio's review appealed to me. I can't resist an underdog.
I mentally three-starred this about a third of the way but then these guys, these three wonderful, multifaceted guys, sneakily began to turn on the charm. The plot is a little crazy, totally unpredictable (or perhaps this is just because I don't read many vamp/angel fics) and so refreshingly different three stars became four. What happens in the final third totally won me over. The love, the angst, the twists and turns in a cracking plot.... it's a win!

Read this little underdog. It's fast paced, well written and has three MC's who will sneak into your heart.

ETA-I should warn that this seems to be the first in a series and it ends with a helluva of a cliffhanger. Cannot wait for the next installment!
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