Tuesday, October 10, 2017

The Pretender (Review)

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This review is for the book "The Pretender" by Ta'mara Hanscom. In this book, we meet Tillie Caselli and Noah Hansen. This book was set in the 1970's. Tillie is a 17-year old who goes away on her first overnight trip for an art show. She meets Noah Hansen there, who is the epitome of a "bad boy" and they seemingly fall in love at first sight. They make plans to meet (and even to marry), but before they can see each other again, Tillie is whisked away by her teacher during a snow storm. They have no way of getting in touch again, but they mourn for one another for a year. During that time, they really grow as individuals. Will they come back together eventually?

I really liked the premise of this story and the characters. What I didn't like is that the conversations between the characters felt stilted and unrealistic. I don't know anyone who actually talks like this, and it seemed a little cheesy. I was able to get over it and enjoy the book anyway. I'd be interested to read the other books in the series.

Thank you to Litfuse Publicity for a copy of the book.

Saturday, September 30, 2017

Living the Spirit Formed Life (Review)


This review is for the book "Living the Spirit-Formed Life" by Jack Hayford. In this book, the author talks about how we have such busy lives where we are so easily distracted, and how that means that we often overlook the work of tending to our spiritual lives. I think this was a great book and very well laid out. He goes over ten disciplines we can have in order to be firmer in our faith. These are things such as finding forgiveness, reading your Bible, and being submissive when appropriate. I really enjoyed the discussions that he had and felt that he used scripture correctly to go over these disciplines.

Thank you to Chosen Publishers for a copy of the book.

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

The Proving (Review)






This review is for the book "The Proving" by Beverly Lewis. I love Beverly Lewis and this book did not disappoint me at all. In this book, we meet Amanda Dienner. Mandy was raised Amish but she was never baptized into the church and she has been living as an Englisher for the past five years. She is shocked to learn one day that her mother has passed away and left an entire Amish bed and breakfast to Mandy. What's more, this comes with a stipulation that Mandy must keep the bed and breakfast profitable for 12 months, or she won't inherit it. Mandy takes a deep breath and goes back to the community she left. She has to face her family, her old friends, and come to the realization that these people really want the Amish experience - some of which she has forgotten! It's a struggle and a journey for Mandy throughout the 12 months. I loved this book and I enjoyed the characters and storyline a lot.

Thank you to Bethany House for a copy of the book.

Friday, September 22, 2017

Dark Deception (Review)



This review is for the book "Dark Deception" by Nancy Mehl. This is the second book in the Defenders of Justice series, but I easily read it without reading the first in the series. In this book, we see Kate O'Brien. She is the key witness in a murder trial, and so she is in witness protection in a small town called Shelter Cove. When the evidence gets thrown out of the trial, her would-be murderer is let out of prison, and he is on the hunt for Kate. Tony DeLuca is the deputy marshal who was her protector during the trial, and Kate only feels safe when he's around.

This book has so many twists and turns, your head will be spinning! I thought I knew who the bad guy was, then I thought I knew again, and then I quit trusting this guy over here, and then I thought it might be this guy over here... wow! What a story. I really enjoyed the characters of this book and all the twists and turns. I read this book in two nights because I couldn't put it down. Really great read that will keep you interested the whole way.

Thank you to Bethany House for a copy of the book.

The Child Safeguarding Policy Guide (Review)



This review is for the book "The Child Safeguarding Policy Guide" by Basyle Tchividjian and Shira M. Berkovits. This book was extremely eye-opening and helpful. Churches are supposed to be a safe place for children, but the reality is that many children have abusive experiences within the church. This guide helps faith communities put policies and procedures into place to protect children, and to address possible abuse. The book defines abuse, talks about indicators and people who abuse, and then goes into the protective practices churches should put into place. Then it goes over how to respond to child abuse accusations and policy violations, and then most importantly, how to support survivors. This book is a wealth of knowledge, with policies, procedures, and forms filling up the pages. I think that this is a really important book for church officials to read and put into place.

Thank you to Litfuse Publicity for a copy of the book.

Gathering the Threads (Review)



This review is for the book "Gathering the Threads" by Cindy Woodsmall, who is one of my favorite fiction authors. This book is actually the third book in her Amish of Summer Grove series. Although I had not read either of the other books in the series, it did not take me long to catch on to the story. It definitely helped that Woodsmall put in a section in the beginning to go over the background story. Even with the background story, I was a little confused at who everyone was, but by about chapter three, I understood what was going on.

This is an interesting Amish story because it is so unlike other ones I have read. Ariana has found that she is actually "Englisch" although she grew up Amish, and spending time with her "Englisch" family has opened her eyes to some things about the Amish community that she isn't entirely sure about. She questions their trust in the bishop and some of the rules. This is hard for her family to understand, especially as she grows closer to Quill, her friend who actually left the Amish and helps other Amish leave the community. This is a great journey of faith for Ariana, though. I really enjoyed watching Ariana discover herself throughout this book.

Thank you to Litfuse Publicity for a copy of the book.

Monday, September 11, 2017

The Two of Us (Review)






This review is for the book "The Two of Us" by Victoria Bylin. In this book, we meet Mia Robinson. She has had her heart broken one too many times, so she's sworn off men and she's focusing now on being a medical missionary. Suddenly, though, her 18-year old sister becomes pregnant and decides to get married, and Mia puts her plans on hold to try to help Lucy through this big step. Meanwhile, Lucy's husband has a friend named Jake who is a former police officer. Mia and Jake hit it off, which makes her life that much more difficult. She ends up trying to decide if she wants to see where her relationship with Jake goes or if she wants to fulfill her dream of being a medical missionary.

I really liked the characters in this book - they struggle with doubt, and they're honest about how they're feeling. Mia is torn because she wants to be with Jake but she thinks she's not trusting in God if she doesn't do the medical missionary gig. Lucy wants to trust God, but she's afraid of health issues that come with being pregnant. It's just a great story with romance thrown in there. Can't wait to read more from this author.

Thank you to Bethany House for a copy of the book.

Sunday, September 10, 2017

Lifestyle of a Watchman (Review)






This review is for the book "The Lifestyle of a Watchman" by James W. Goll. In this book, Goll takes the reader on a 21-day journey to being a mature prayer intercessor. Goll does a fantastic job of pointing out scriptural references to intercessory prayer and using examples of people from the Bible, and then switching to people who use intercessory prayer in modern times. Every chapter ends with a suggested prayer for the reader to pray, and then questions for you to ask yourself and dig deeper. I really liked the stories he used for examples of intercessory prayer. The chapters go over so many situations, such as praying in a crisis, not giving up when you feel like you've been praying for so long, how to fast, how to trust in God for answers, and so on.

I really enjoyed this book and think others would like it as well.

Thank you to Chosen Publishers for a copy of the book.

Monday, September 4, 2017

A Name Unknown (Review)



This review is for the book "A Name Unknown" by Roseanna White. This is the first book in the Shadows of England series. In this book, we meet Rosemary Gresham, who has no family to speak of except the other thieves who have become her family. She actually lives with all of them and they have taught themselves to be "high-class" thieves so that they can survive. Rosemary is quite good at her job, and she is given a job which will really help the family if she succeeds.

She is sent to the home of Peter Holstein to find out some secrets about him. She has to pretend to be a librarian so that she can work for him. The time is drawing near to England being involved in WWI, and many people are afraid of Holstein because of his German name. Rosemary has to find out where his loyalties lie, and she also has to try to keep safe, because someone is out to get either her or Peter. They're both in danger. Not only that, but in the midst of trying to find out his secrets, they are actually starting to fall for one another.

I really liked the characters in this book, and the story, even though I was a little confused at Peter's present-day relationship with Germany, as well as why so many people hated him so much. But I truly enjoyed reading the book and I'd like to read more in the series.

Thank you to Bethany House and Litfuse Publicity for a copy of the book.

God's Smuggler (Review)



This review is for the book "God's Smuggler". This is the young reader's edition of this book. I have read the original book but I was really excited to read the young reader's edition so that I could make sure it was on a good reading level for my daughter to read it. I am so happy to say that it is perfect for her reading level - I would say anyone on a 4th grade reading level up will enjoy it and understand it - and it has some great action pictures in it which kids will really enjoy. I have read so many stories of Brother Andrew over the last few years and I am always amazed at what he has accomplished in his 89 years. I highly, highly recommend this book for all children and adults to read. It's an absolutely amazing story of what God can do!

Thank you to Cross Focused Reviews for a copy of the book.