Word Salt’s Final Days

wordsalt1.jpgIt’s always a little sad when I have to let something go, but sometimes you have to let something go in order to grow up something else.  That is the case with this website, Word Salt.

After nearly five years of hosting Christian authors, doing interviews, reviewing excellent books and the like on Word Salt, I am closing down this site on March 15, 2015.

I have thoroughly enjoyed getting to know some amazing writers, and I hope that I helped in a small way get the word out about their books and had a small part in getting their books into the hands of readers.  To those authors whom I interviewed, I pray that you will continue to minister to others through your books and writing!  You are blessings!

While I find I need to shut down Word Salt, my primary website: Journey Thoughts is expanding.  God has truly blessed that particular blog effort and I will devote much more time and attention to growing up that site.  I thank my millions (yes, millions) of readers of Journey Thoughts.  Wow, when did that happen?  I praise God for using my Journey Thoughts blog to reach so many and hopefully to encourage those who read that blog regularly.

So, thank-you again for a great five years here on Word Salt.

Blessings to all my readers!


Interview with Author, Carlota Fernandez

Carlota FernandezI would like to welcome author, Carlota Fernandez to Word Salt today.

What is your professional background?

I have been an educator since the early eighties. I have dedicated most of my teaching career to cultivating the minds of gifted children. I Am HappyPart of my professional experience includes providing assistance to parents and teachers with interventions when children are having difficulties in the classroom.

Are you planning to publish any other books soon?

Yes, the next book that will be published is “The Story of the Easter Bunny”. This illustrated children’s book tells the story of why the bunny was chosen to bring gifts to the children on Easter Sunday while encouraging good behavior.

I am working on other books: “Where Do I Belong?” and “A Walk Down the Rainbow”.

At what point in your life did you realized you wanted to write for children and why?

I realized that I wanted to write for children when my first grandchild was born. I wanted to tell him stories to spark his imagination and to help him develop an awareness for the wonders of life!

What was the inspiration (motivation) behind this book? Why did you write it on the first place?

I decided to write “I am Happy” to help children develop an “attitude of gratitude.” Studies have shown that having positive emotions and a sense that life is worthwhile increases the feeling of happiness.

What do you hope this book accomplishes?

I hope this book will be a source of enjoyment for children and serve as a resource for parents and educators to cultivate in children positive feelings and the virtue of gratitude.

Who is this book written for?

This book is written for children ages three to ninety nine. I feel that everyone can learn from the book’s message which is to take a few minutes to look at your day, reflect on it and be thankful for all the blessings.

Do you have a “life verse” that you have claimed? If so what is it and why is that verse so meaningful to you?

My life verse is Psalm 9:1-2. I will say to the Lord,” He is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.” This verse is very meaningful to me because through life’s up and downs it has given me strength and peace to know that I am never alone. I have learned that when I “let go and let God”, everything turns out for the best. Sometimes it is not what I want but the end result is what is best for me and the others involved.

Is there anything that you would like your readers to know about you that would give us even more of a glimpse into your personality and passions?

I would like my readers to know that I love teaching children, reading, writing and creating. My biggest source of pride and enjoyment is my family. I love spending time with them. I have a wonderful husband and two adults sons married to the best daughter-in-laws any one could ask for. In addition to that, my grandchildren to me are truly a gift from heaven.

For more information about Carlota and her books go to Amazon.com


Interview with author, R. Stanton Tucker

R. Stanton Tucker About the Author: R. Stanton Tucker is a husband, father, friend, servant, and author of Success Is Your Birthright: God’s Success. Tucker has spent more than the broader portion of his life in the congregation setting – church. Vacation Bible School, Sunday School, Bible Study, countless church revivals, plays, teaching Sunday School classes, ushering, speaking, and singing in the choir catalogue that rich experience within the church. He acknowledges he is in God’s [Yahweh] classroom like all believers and that none of us are really scholars rather students at various stages in our relationship with Him. As a student, Tucker is continuing to rehash past materials, digging deeper into the Bible, and allowing God to use every day experiences and encounters as his laboratory to learn of Him and His Will. Studying has helped to connect the Old Testament with the New and has led to researching historical references. Strabo’s Geography, Book XVI, Chapter 2, for example, sheds some light on Paul’s physical description being associated with an Egyptian revolutionist in Acts 21:38. Tucker wants to share the message that Yahweh wants a relationship with man, a relationship based of service, love, and doing His will.

Welcome to Word Salt!

Why Success Is Your Birthright: God’s Success?

There is not a short answer. First, life resembles a roller coaster. It consists of countless moments that make us smile, laugh, cry, and ask for Divine Intervention. Life’s beauty, however, gets lost on our disappointments and hurt. We all have emotional and psychological scars from those difficult moments. Some have wounds that have not begun to heal. How do the hurt and hurting bounce back? The book takes the reader on an inspirational journey to bounce back from life’s difficult moments using the biblical Joseph Story as its basis. Success Is Your Birthright: God’s Success challenges us to look at those not so great moments as legos to a better tomorrow. More importantly, it reintroduces some and introduces others to God [Yahweh].

Secondly, our humanity is fading. The sacredness and respect for life is continuing to dwindle. Much of this is fueled by society’s fascination and obsession with self and materialism. This is worldwide and crosses all demographics. This intoxication has closed eyes, hands, minds, and hearts to the emotionally, physically, and financially hurting. There is a willingness to exploit the vulnerable, children, women, and seniors. Everything is negotiable – one’s integrity, dignity, and body. Murder continues to beSuccess is Your Birthright... excusable in the name of political interest, pseudo-bravado, “It is my body”, and God. The blurring of right, responsibility, and morality, particularly God’s standard, are inextricably linked to our fading humanity. Narratives are created and recreated to suit personal moods. Sadly, this has made its way into the corporate organizations and buildings called churches. There are those who misrepresent God and His Son, The Christ, through hustlerism and attempts to augment the Gospel to be congregational and society friendly. This is the salt losing its savor. (Matthew 5:13)

What is God’s standard?

God’s standard is similar to the parents-children relationship. Parents have expectations for all their children in an effort to nurture responsible adults. Relationship reinforces and supports those expectations. When the children do not meet those expectations, the parents communicate their concerns and reiterate what is expected. There are times when grounding, time outs, suspending privileges, and the like are employed to get their attention and nudge them back on track. Because the parents are displeased and have taken action, does that mean they love their children less? Quite the opposite. They love them more. There are times children are adamant about opposing their parents’ expectations. Peer validation empowers them to feel their actions are reasonable. The more the children challenge their parents’ expectations, the more normal it feels. Parents are faced with compromising, walking back their expectations, or standing firm in love and continuing to nurture in hopes their children will get back on course. What does this have to do with God’s standards you may ask?

God’s standard is His expectations for us. Meeting His expectations lend to eternal life, not eternal damnation. It is not His Will that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance. (paraphrase II Peter 3:9) His standard begins with loving and serving Him unconditionally. Loving Him is accepting His Son, Servant, and our Elder Brother as The Christ. Yahshua [Jesus] gave us the blueprint to worshipping God and loving one another. Does God love us any less when we do not meet His expectations? Absolutely not! He is displeased and desires a repentant mind and heart, and commitment to His standard. Opposition to His expectations is called sin. That is not a popular word. Its detractors prefer expressing one’s self or exercising ones independence. It is appalling because sin implies something is taboo, forbidden. Democratic dialogue postulates nothing is taboo and everything is negotiable, especially with the right spin and public sentiment. A number of professed clergy and Christians have entertained those notions. They deceive themselves and others. Though all wobble with God’s expectations, believers work fervently to resist sin and repent when they stumble. Are we perfect people? Far from it. Every believer has a past and every non-believer has a future. We too are working daily toward eternal life. We wrestle against thoughts, feelings, and actions inconsistent with God’s standard. Adulthood and democratic dialogue do not give us a license to do whatever we think or feel.

Is life as a believer boring?

Of course not. Believers are like everyone else. We go to the movies, enjoy a cup of coffee at the local coffee shop, eat a slice of pizza, shop at the malls and boutiques, laugh, cry, appreciate nature, and love ourselves, family, friends, and everyone in between. God’s standard lends to a more enjoyable and less chaotic life. Life as a believer is fulfilling. Our lives are faced with challenges. Do we stumble at times? Sure. None of us is stumble free; however, believers are committed to resisting sin – a commitment not without challenges.

What lessons can we grasp in the 21st century and after from this book?

Man is not central to the universe, no matter our discoveries or the latest gadgets. God is the central force in and to the universe. His standard of right, responsibility, and morality minimizes life’s unnecessary conflicts and chaos. Life is not about what we have or do not have but our relationship with Him and one to another. To love is to have a service agenda. Imagine if we measured success by the lives we encouraged, engaged, and assisted. Material success would not be an obsession.

What was the inspiration (motivation) behind the book? (Why did you write it in the first place?)

Success Is Your Birthright: God’s Success was inspired by God. I know that sounds like a cliché. I had no intentions of writing this book. God was dealing with me on a spiritual and personal level. I began to take notes and before I knew it; I had over a hundred pages of notes. Wherever I was, day or night, I took notes. Of course, I read the Bible and questioned what I thought I knew, and searched for answers to lingering questions and new ones. That is why I noted I was God’s secretary in the Acknowledgement.

What do you hope this book accomplishes?

I am glad you asked that question. Success Is Your Birthright:: God’s Success is a spiritual and inspirational expedition. My hope is that people will read it and start to re-evaluate their relationship with God, and others. Many believe in a religion void of a relationship with God and people. These cherry-pick what they will or will not adhere to and engage in selective service to others, if at all, all the while calling themselves Christians or something else. Reading this book will somehow inspire them in a profound way.

Who is this book written for?

It is written for the world. Every person 12 years and up can get something out of it.

Do you have a “life verse” that you have claimed? If so what is it and why is that verse so meaningful to you?

I do not have just one “life verse”; but if I had to choose at this moment, I would chose I John 4:12. It reads, “No man hath seen God at any time. If we love one another, God dwelleth in us, and his love is perfect in us.” – KJV Its importance echoes one of the greatest commandments – “… Thou shall love thy neighbor as thyself.” (Mark 12:31)

Who (or what) is your greatest encourager when you write and why?

God, my immediate and extended family, and people inspire me to write. However, the inspiration behind it is there is a message. I want to share that message with world.

Is there anything else that you would like your readers to know about you that would give us even more of a glimpse into your personality and passions?

I want my readers and your audience to know that I enjoy people. People are my passion. The engagement gives me a broader perspective about life and my place in it.

Bookpal’s Summer of Literacy

Thought this was worth sharing with all my Word Salt readers and especially those who are teachers.  Book giveaway for your classrooms!


The Leader in Bulk Bookselling Celebrates National Literacy Month with Book Giveaway


IRVINE, Calif. – (Aug. 7, 2014) BookPal—a leading bulk-bookselling enterprise catering to corporations, schools, non-profits and government organizations—is running its first annual Summer of Literacy promotion that gives teachers (grades K-12) a weekly chance to win books for their classrooms.

Ushering in National Literacy Month in September, the event began July 1 and will run until the end of September. Each week, BookPal
is drawing one winner at random to receive a free class book set (25 copies of a single title). Winners may choose the title from a
list of 30 education titles, which can be found here. So far, winners have chosen To Kill a Mockingbird and Jackie Robinson and the Boar. Two grand prize winners chosen at the end of the promotion will each receive $500 in store credit.

“Whether it’s 25-book sets for classrooms or 10,000 e-books for a corporate giveaway, BookPal has serving our clients’ wholesale book needs for the past five years,” says Tony DiCostanzo, president and founder of BookPal.  “Our Summer of Literacy promotion is a way to say ‘thank you’ and give back to our schools, all while growing awareness for and celebrating National Literacy Month.”

Educators at every level rely on BookPal as a critical resource for a breadth of educational products, from children’s books, trade novels and textbooks, to instructional and assessment materials for educators. Schools and literacy organizations can order 25 novels for a classroom or thousands of book copies for a college first-year reading program.

To enter and read contest rules, visit BookPal’s Facebook giveaway page. Entrants will receive bonus entries for following on Twitter, Google+, Pinterest and Instagram, and for sharing the sweepstakes on Twitter.


ABOUT BOOKPAL, LLC: Based in Irvine, Calif., BookPal, LLC makes bulk book purchasing simple and affordable for corporations, schools, literacy programs, nonprofits and government institutions, offering more than 3 million titles with tiered pricing, exceptional live customer service and streamlined delivery options for both physical books and e-books. Named a “Company to Watch” by Publishers Weekly in 2010, BookPal has quickly taken its place at the forefront of the bulk-bookselling industry and has been named a fastest-growing private company in the Orange County Business Journal since 2010. BookPal was also on the Inc. 500|5000 list of the fastest-growing privately held U.S. companies in 2012 and 2013, and is a Webby Awards honoree. For more information, visit www.book-pal.com.


Book Review: The Secret Holocaust Diaries by Nonna Bannister

My Review of The Secret Holocaust Diaries by Nonna Bannister

Married for well over 50 years, Nonna has kept a secret hidden from her entire
family. Written memories locked away and sewn inside a tattered pillow case are suddenly brought to light as Nonna shares her past with her husband and children. Raised in a well-to-do Russian family, the quiet life of a young girl is torn apart when Germany invades Poland.

Trying to flee persecution not only from the Russians because of her family’s ties to Csarist Russia, as well as the Germans as they eradicate all who stand in their way as war tears through Europe and Russia, Nonna and her family are innocents caught in the crossfire.

Nonna is the only member of her family who survives the war and the work/concentration camps she is sent to.

Nonna shares her story, mostly told from her recollections of the time as a young girl. Occasionally her memories do not match with historical accuracy, and her family (who published the book) interjects her story with additional information that gives historical detail to match Nonna’s time line of events.

There a scenes of great joy, of rejoicing in God’s goodness and grace as Nonna tells of her childhood and recounts family times with her grandmother, cousins, brother and parents. This contrasted to the memories of war, when her father is brutally beaten by German soldiers and everyone she has ever loved is taken away from her, adds to the poignancy and shock of this book.

We often think of the holocaust only from the perspective of the atrocities perpetuated on the Jewish people. Nonna and her family were not Jewish, neither were their neighbours and friends, but all suffered greatly, persecuted for their Christian faith and for their political ties.

If I had a negative about the book, was the fact that because most of Nonna’s story is told as “memories” or diary entries, occasionally the book bounced around a little and was hard to follow.

Still, it was a good read and I would recommend it highly.

Book Review: Girl Soldier by Faith J.H. McDonnell and Grace Akallo

My review of Girl Soldier: A Story of Hope for Northern Uganda’s Children by Faith J. H. McDonnell and Grace Akallo

I suppose timing is everything right now, and I downloaded this book on Kindle when it was free quite a while ago, but did not start reading it until this week.

With the viral explosion of Kony 2012 on YouTube, and the upcoming world-wide event that will try to bring to light the decades old atrocities that this man has perpetrated on the children (the invisible children) of Uganda, it is timely I would read this book.

When a book is written by two authors (as this one is), it is oftentimes difficult for a story to “flow”, and certainly such was the case with this book, however, I appreciated the historical details that made up at least three quarters of the book.

Sprinkled in between the historical and political background of Uganda as a nation torn apart by civil, and tribal war and the rise of tyranical bullies like Joseph Kony, is one young girl’s story of being abducted and then indoctrinated into the child army of Kony.

As a westerner reading the book, I cannot imagine the life the children of Uganda are experiencing nightly as countless thousands “commute” to cities to sleep because of their fear of being abducted from their families every night. We have no concept in the U.S. and Canada what it is like for all Ugandans at this time in their history.

Books of this nature, are important to bring the plight of a nation to our conscious awareness.

Read the book and pray for those children daily. God is still in control, even in the midst of such hardship.

Book Review: My Stubborn Heart by Becky Wade

My review of My Stubborn Heart by: Becky Wade

Kate Donovan, a thirty something woman, is frustrated trying to find “Mr. Right” but never finding the perfect man of her dreams. When she is invited by her grandmother to Redbud, Pennsylvania to restore the beautiful family home, she meets Matt Jarreau, a young widower, who is a man who captivates her attention with his good looks and charm, but also his broodiness with a hint of mystery.

The emotional love story is a bit too predictable, and I did not particularly like the language since the book is touted as contemporary Christian. I’ve read other “edgy” Christian fiction where language is used for effect but in this case the language is not necessary for the storyline and actually detracts from the overall enjoyment of the book.

Still, I found the story and the characters for the most part engaging and interesting.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from Bethany House Publishers via LitFuse Publicity Group in exchange for an honest review.

Book Review: The Only One He Couldn’t Have: Covenant of the Rose Saga by Kassandra Brown

My review of The Only One He Couldn’t Have: Covenant of the Rose Saga by Kassandra Brown

Book Description: ‘A thought, imaginary or reality? A precious moment let to die deep inside.’ I glanced to the midnight sky, stars twinkling back down on my
fragile features. I close my eyes, breathing in the tranquil aura that had settled upon my form only moments before. Thoughts among thoughts shield and barricade my mind from the gaining incubi. I hear and feel the oncoming intruders.

‘I feel I’m fading, I flicker out.’ Fallen! Out of hope and without doubt, I turn to confirm my suspicions. Valafar and Ronove’s forked tails swayed side to side as they stood alongside of Jayden, his black eyes tinted with blood lust, fangs bared…a winter white cloaked figure soaring above us on angelic wings. I had been brought back to Trenlay…

This is Kassandra’s first book and with a little more time and attention to her craft, I am sure that this will not be her last.

It is a difficult book to describe as it is contemporary but has a dreamlike fantastical element with spiritual, ethereal beings that makes it unique in genre. It will appeal to teens and young adults in particular.

I was a little overwhelmed by the “angelic” characters and the difficult names but the storyline was definitely intriguing enough to keep me reading.

I like to encourage first-time authors and I hope Kassandra continues to write. She has a great imagination and I’m glad I had the opportunity to review her first book.

Book Review: Katie’s Choice by Tracey Langford

My review of Katie’s Choice by: Tracey Langford

Having grown up with a mother who defines herself based on relationships with men, it is no wonder that Katie finds herself making the same mistakes as her mother did. When she finds herself pregnant and facing the possibility of being a single Mom with no hope or future for herself or her child, she takes the advice of her mother and gets an abortion. Katie must live with the consequences of this decision and the guilt and remorse she feels even years after the abortion.

The first half of the book is an honest portrayal of what a teenager in a crisis pregnancy is thinking and feeling. The author did a good job of showing the angst young unwed mothers face as well as how they rationalize their decisions for an abortion. It is only after the abortion, that women find themselves experiencing post-abortion trauma and regret what they have done and I am glad that the author chose to address this in detail in her book.

The book is written from a Christian world-view, which I also appreciated.

The book bogs down a bit in the middle, and admittedly I didn’t quite understand the Kaleo (gray wolf) nightmares that Katie kept having…it brought a supernatural element into the storyline that was a bit out of place to the rest of the story. That said, it was still a good book, with a great message, and definitely worth the read.


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