Monday, November 30, 2015

A Lost God in a Lost World (Review)

This review is for the book "A Lost God in a Lost World" by Melvin Tinker. In this book, Tinker addresses the reality that in this modern age, we have reduced God into a little box in our minds. We have taken away some of the grandiosity that is God. In trying to understand his ways (which is impossible), we put him in this human box. We try to bend his will to meet our own desires.

First, Tinker addresses idolatry, and how we tend to replace God with idols. Then he addresses the grandeur of God and how we are supposed to see him. He discusses why the cross was necessary, he explains the Holy Spirit as it is found in scripture, he asserts that we must proclaim the gospel, and then he ends the book by discussing the grace of God (and many viewpoints on that grace), the second coming, and how to be heavenly minded.

I loved this book. Tinker speaks in a way that it was easy to understand where he was coming from. I enjoyed the other authors and people he referenced throughout the book. He even referenced those with whom he disagreed, so that he could relay his scriptural findings and why he didn't agree with certain quotes or people. I think it is so true that our world is lost, and we have lost God in our hustle and bustle. We (as a society) rely on ourselves, or else we lean too heavily on society to take care of us, or we try to conform God to what we want at that exact moment. Tinker relates scripture in this book that is laid right out and cannot be ignored. This one is going on my bookshelf.

Thank you to Cross Focused Reviews for a copy of the book in exchange for my honest review.

Watch the trailer for the book here:

Friday, November 27, 2015

A Thousand Shall Fall (Review)

This review is for the book "A Thousand Shall Fall" by Andrea Boeshaar. This is book one in the Shenandoah Valley Saga. In this novel we meet Carrie Ann Bell in the year 1864. Carrie's sister has just run away and Carrie is frantic to find her. So frantic, in fact, that she risks her life by disguising herself as a Yankee soldier, right in the middle of some of the biggest battles of the Civil War. Carrie not only risks being wounded or killed in battle, but she is breaking the law by impersonating a soldier.

We find out that the soldier who rescues/captures Carrie has a past with her. This is probably in her favor because he doesn't send her to jail or kill her right away. In fact, he is extremely kind to her and does his best to keep her away from the skirmishes to keep her safe. They fall in love under some very difficult circumstances, even with all their differences. But Carrie is holding some secrets that could be very damaging if she is found out.

I really enjoyed this novel. I don't enjoy a lot of historical romance novels but this one kept my attention and I enjoyed the characters. The only complaint I had is that some of the things spoken of in the novel made me think there was a prequel to this story that I had not read. The characters spoke of things that had happened in the past that made me think they would have been in a previous novel, so they weren't fully explained. It wasn't anything that made the story confusing or hard to follow. If you like historical fiction, you will enjoy this novel.

Thank you to Litfuse Publicity for a copy of the book in exchange for my honest review.

Thousand Fall Andrea Boeshaar

Odyssey Adventure Club


What’s on your children’s Christmas wish list? As excited as they might be about that new toy, as every parent knows, the thrill of the gift will eventually wear off. Focus on the Family and Adventures in Odyssey have created the perfect gift for those who want to give their children or grandchildren a present that will provide year-round fun with eternal impact.

The Odyssey Adventure Club (OAC) offers families 24/7 access to 25 years’ worth of Adventures in Odyssey (AIO) episodes in a safe online environment where children can explore and learn. Christmas really is the perfect time to tap into your children’s imagination while infusing faith and fun into their day . . . and every day of the year.

To celebrate the holidays this year, the OAC is offering free content for everyone, including an Advent calendar, a broadcast download with tips to create a memorable Christmas, AIO cutouts and Christmas stocking stuffer cards. Membership to the OAC costs just $9.99 a month — or even less if parents make a six-month or one-year commitment. Enrollment provides more than enough content to keep kids engaged throughout the year:

  • Access to exclusive content and first looks at books and select Radio Theatre dramas.

  • On-the-go access to the OAC app for both iOS and Android users.

  • 24/7 streaming access to nearly 800 AIO episodes.

  • A new, members-only AIO episode every month.

  • A subscription to Adventures in Odyssey Clubhouse Magazine, and more.

In keeping with AIO’s rich heritage of teaching children about biblical principles — such as the importance of giving — a portion of each OAC membership benefits Focus on the Family partner organizations. Here are a couple of examples of what has been accomplished through Odyssey Adventure Club members:

The Odyssey Adventure Club wants to reach beyond fleeting entertainment this Christmas, partnering with parents in helping their kids grow deep in faith and find their place in God’s story.


Speaking of the holidays, you can prepare for Christmas with Thriving Family's 2015 Advent Activity Calendar — Tales of Christmas Past: 25 Inspiring true stories of the season. Assemble a beautifully designed Advent poster to help your kids focus on Christ this Christmas. Then read Scripture passages and stories that relate to individual flaps on the poster. You can also create easy-to-fold booklets for each story. Get more information about this year's free Advent calendar at, or sign up to download it.

To learn more about the Odyssey Adventure Club, visit, Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest.

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

The Martian (Review)

This review is for the book "The Martian" by Andy Weir. Honestly, I did not know what to expect from this book. Based on the title I thought it was going to be some outlandish science-fiction novel, which I don't really enjoy. Instead, I was met with an intriguing, exciting book that kept me on the edge of my seat.

This book begins in the journal of Mark Watney, an astronaut on Mars. In a freak accident, his fellow crew members left him, thinking he was dead. But he's not. And now he's alone - on Mars. Fortunately, Watney is an engineer. An insanely good engineer. He is determined to find a way to survive on Mars and try to find a way home. This book is his story and his journey.

I loved this book. It had my attention from the beginning. There were a couple of nights I was reading and my eyes were heavy as rocks, but I just had to see what was going to happen next. I was rooting for Watney for the entire book! I hear this is a movie now, and I am excited to see it, although I happen to love books more than movies. The book does contain some crass language, so be aware of that.

Thank you to Waterbrook Multonah for a copy of the book in exchange for an honest review.

Sunday, November 22, 2015

The Ology (Review)

This review is for the book "The Ology" by Marty Machowski. I really cannot say enough great things about this book. I was extremely impressed with every aspect of this book.

When the reader opens the book they meet Carla and Timothy. These kids have just found an old cellar with a book that has been untouched for a long time. They open it up and begin to read. Of course, as an adult, you will realize this book is The Bible. This book explains biblical truths in a way that children can comprehend and not get overwhelmed. For example, we read one truth every day. I would read the title ("Sin Spreads like a Disease") and the corresponding paragraphs. Then my daughter would find the listed scriptures in her Bible and read them out loud (usually 5-8 scriptures). Then we would discuss how the scriptures went with the topic and talk about any questions my kids had. If your kids are older, there are discussion questions in the back that you could use for each truth. This book covers it all. From God (He is the trinity, in control, perfect, etc.) to people and sin, to the promise and the law, to Christ and the Holy Spirit to adoption into God's family to change (how you change after salvation) to the church, to the end times and God's word. It also includes a glossary.

I guarantee you we will be using this book for years to come. It is a great treasure to use with your children. I highly, highly recommend this book.

Thank you to Litfuse Publicity for a copy of the book in exchange for my honest review.

Fire & Ice (Review)

This review is for the book "Fire & Ice" by Mary Connealy. This is book three in the Wild at Heart series. This series has followed the Wilde family, settlers in the 1800s. If you've read the other books in the series, you know the Wilde sisters have been building up their homesteads and pretending to be men so they would be left alone. Just one problem - these sisters keep falling in love!

In this book, Gage Coulter finds out that his unfriendly male neighbor Bailey is actually his unfriendly female neighbor Bailey! After he gets over the surprise that this female has been causing him so many problems, he lays out a proposal that Bailey can't refuse. Both Gage and Bailey are very independent and tough. But true love can definitely surpass all of that.

I loved this series. I really like the characters, and in this book the appearance of Ma Coulter will make you laugh and cringe at the same time.

Thank you to Bethany House for a copy of the book in exchange for my honest review.

Friday, November 20, 2015

An Endless Christmas (Review)

This review is for the novella "An Endless Christmas" by Cynthia Ruchti. Let me begin by saying I enjoy reading novellas, I love Christmas stories, and I have read a few really good books lately by Cynthia Ruchti.

I liked this book, but I didn't really love it. In this book, Katie and Micah are going to spend Christmas with his family. This is the first time Katie is meeting everyone, and as soon as they walk in the door, Micah proposes to her. Everything is thrown off kilter when she answers no instead of what he hoped for! Katie is looking for the first flight home, but Micah's family takes her in as one of their own anyway and shows her what true family and true love really mean. Katie has never grown up with a loving family, so she really thinks the whole family is unbelievable because of their positivity.

I enjoyed this book for the most part, it was just so cheerful and sappy. I just felt that Katie was so down-in-the-dumps and the entire Binder family was so overly perfect. Of course, the book was a great escape, and an easy read, and it did have a happy ending, even if I did feel the ending was a bit rushed. There were also a LOT of characters to keep up with in the story.

Thank you to Litfuse Publicity for a copy of the book in exchange for my honest review.

Thursday, November 19, 2015

The Golden Braid (Review)

This review is for the book "The Golden Braid" by Melanie Dickerson. I will be the first to admit I love a good fairy tale. I love reading umpteen versions of the same fairy tale, I love making up my own fairy tales, I love reading fairy tales out loud to children. I love the world of creative writing and imagination. So I absolutely could not wait to read this book, a different take on the story of Rapunzel.

In this book we meet Rapunzel and her mother long before the tower happens. This is the story before the story, so to speak. In this book we are shown the relationship between Rapunzel and her mother and readers really understand everything that went into the tower - even HOW Rapunzel got into that crazy high tower with no doors or stairs! Readers also see the relationship develop between Rapunzel and the prince who eventually rescues her.

I loved this story. I really didn't want it to end. I wish my daughter were old enough to understand it so she could read it right now! I highly recommend this book.

Thank you to Litfuse Publicity for a copy of the book in exchange for my honest review.

The Photograph (Review)

This review is for the book "The Photography" by Beverly Lewis. I cannot begin to list the amount of books by Beverly Lewis I have read. I absolutely love her writing style and I have not ever read one of her books that has disappointed me.

In this story, Eva, Lily and Frona's parents have both passed away. The girls are left alone with no prospects of marriage, but they lean on each other. The problem arises when one of their older brothers comes to the family farm and announces he is going to move in and the girls must relocate. For three girls with no marriage prospects, this is disturbing news. Even more disturbing is the next day when Lily disappears out of the blue. Eva and Frona fret over the situation and the whole community goes into search mode. At the same time, Jed Stutzman comes into town. On his way into town he comes across a copy of "Little Women" and a photograph of an Amish girl. He is smitten with the words written in the sides of the book and believes them to be attached to the girl in the photograph. Then he can't believe his eyes when he thinks he meets the girl in the photograph - Eva.

I loved this story. There are ups and downs throughout. A lot can be learned about the Amish community from this novel, even though it is fiction. Once again, Beverly Lewis did not disappoint.

Thank you to Bethany House for a copy of the book in exchange for my honest review.

Monday, November 16, 2015

Five Times I Met Myself (Review)

This review is for the book "The Five Times I Met Myself" by James L. Rubart. In my opinion, this is an idea that has been done before, but I love the premise.

In this novel, Brock Matthews has a great life - he thinks. Then he finds out his company is going under, and maybe his wife doesn't feel so loved after all. In the span of one day he feels like his whole life is unraveling. Then he discovers something called lucid dreaming. He begins dreaming while being conscious of what he is doing, and attempts to change his life by talking to his past self. Unfortunately, with every decision his former self changes, it completely transforms Brock's life - and not in the way he wants it to. He spends the whole book realizing his life was pretty great, as well as realizing he lost his focus on God along the way (as well as his family) and trying to regain that focus.

Although the idea has been done before, I sincerely enjoyed this book. I couldn't put it down. I loved the characters and the writing style. The book also includes a discussion guide at the end. It would make for a great book for book club. After reading this book I would love to check out some of Rubart's other books.

Thank you to Litfuse Publicity for a copy of the book in exchange for an honest review.

Friday, November 13, 2015

War For the Waking World (Review)

This review is for the book "War for the Waking World" by Wayne Thomas Batson. This is the third book in Batson's Dreamtreaders series.

This book is the last in the Dreamtreaders trilogy, and in this book, the dream world and waking world bleed into one another when a rogue Dreamtreader forms a rift between the two worlds. Reality and the dream world are full of nightmares coming true. Archer, a 15-year old Dreamtreader, knows it is up to him and his fellow Dreamtreaders to reverse the rift and repair the damage to the human reality. This book is action-packed from the beginning, and it doesn't slow down until the stunning finale.

My one complaint about this book is that I did not read the first two! I really enjoyed this book, and I can tell this is a series I would really enjoy. There were a few things here or there that I didn't totally understand when reading this final book, but within the context of the novel I was able to catch myself up. I can see myself going back and reading all three books in the series now that I am aware of them. I highly recommend this book.

Thank you to Litfuse Publicity for a copy of the book in exchange for my honest review.

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Hoping Against Hope (Review)

This review is for the book "Hoping Against Hope" by John D. Caputo.

I found this book extremely difficult to read. I did not look forward to reading it and had to force myself to pick it up and try to bog through all the philosophy in the book. I would like to point out that I don't particularly enjoy philosophy, and so it was really hard for me to understand almost everything that Caputo said in this book.

There were a few phrases here and there that I could understand and that I actually did agree with. Caputo talks about religion beginning and ending with grace. He attributes grace to God. He admits that he is not omniscient like God.

If you like philosophy, and want to hear an autobiography of Caputo that is slightly overwhelming, you will most likely enjoy this book.

Thank you to Cross Focused Reviews for a copy of the book in exchange for my honest review.

A Respectable Actress (Review)

This review is for the book "A Respectable Actress" by Dorothy Love. This is not my first time reading a book written by Dorothy Love. I enjoyed the two other books I read which were written by her, so I expected I would enjoy this one as well. Actually, I enjoyed this story more than the others I have read by her.

In this story, India Hartley is an actress in the late 1800's, a time when acting is looked down upon. India is in the middle of a performance when her co-star is shot to death - and all the evidence makes it look as though India is the murderer. Philip Sinclair is hired to defend her. The book follows the time leading up to the trial, as well as the trial itself, and then even after the trial has taken place. The author takes plenty of time to build a relationship between Philip and India. There are a couple of problems, though. Philip's wife's death has a bit of a mystery around her, as well as the disappearance of a local slave girl. And as India begins investigating, she finds there is much more to the story of her co-star's death than she realized.

I really liked this book and the writing style of Love. I would look forward to reading another book by her.

Thank you to Litfuse Publicity for a copy of the book in exchange for an honest review.

Friday, November 6, 2015

Martyrs of Malatya (Review)

This review is for the book "Martyrs of Malatya: Martyred for the Messiah in Turkey" by James Wright. In April of 2007, three men who were Christians met with some local men who they thought wanted to learn more about the Bible and the Christian faith. Instead, these three men were slaughtered for no other reason than because of their Christian faith.

The book begins by telling each man's journey to Christianity in a country where the gospel is not widely spread. The book also describes how they connected as well as how they began what they thought was a friendship with the men who ended up murdering them.

This is a book that will bring to light the people who are still sacrificing their lives for the cause of Christ. News such as this is often blown over on media stations. This is a powerful testimony of an event which should not be allowed to occur. I am grateful to these men and their families for their convictions, and I believe this book will open the eyes of many who read it.

Thank you to Cross Focused Reviews for a copy of the book in exchange for an honest review.

Another Way Home (Review)

This review is for the book "Another Way Home" by Deborah Raney. This is book three in the Chicory Inn series. I have read the other two books in the series but I believe you could read this one alone.

I love this series. I love the writing style of Raney and I love these characters. They have these struggles that are so real and common. Their speech is much like a real conversation. I just love the way they interact with each other, whether it's an argument or a family dinner night. In this novel, Danae and Dallas are really struggling because they've been trying to get pregnant for years, and it's just not happening. Dallas won't even consider adoption due to his past, but Danae is feeling the emotional turmoil of infertility. They get thrown into an unexpected babysitting experience that turns into an odd type of foster care, which makes Dallas begin to rethink his stance on adoption.

My favorite thing about this book was at the end, when I saw the series will continue. This is one of my favorite series and I can't wait to read book number four!

Thank you to Litfuse Publicity for a copy of the book in exchange for my honest review.

Valley of Decision (Review)

This review is for the book "Valley of Decision" by Lynne Gentry. This is the third book in the series called The Carthage Chronicles.

In this book, Lisbeth and her father have to travel back in time to the city of Carthage and the middle of the third century. They would not go unless there was a very good reason. The reason was that Lisbeth's daughter, Maggie, had found the secret time traveling cave, and had set out on a quest to change history.

Maggie's father, Cyprian, and grandmother, Magdalena, were still in third-century Carthage. When Maggie returns, Magdalena has just been accused of killing a man who is in high power, so she is jailed and beaten while she awaits trial.

Honestly, I'm sure this is a great series. Coming into the third book was tough because I never could wrap my head around the history of the characters. Lisbeth and Cyprian are obviously still in love, but for some reason he's living in the third-century and she in the 20th. I kept getting one or two of the characters confused, maybe just because I was coming in on the third book.

I did feel that it was well written, and the book was full of romance and adventure.

Thank you to Litfuse Publicity for a copy of the book in exchange for my honest review.

Sunday, November 1, 2015

A Chameleon, A Boy and a Quest (Review)

This review is for the book "A Chameleon, a Boy, and a Quest" by J. A. Myhre. I have to say this is one of my favorite books I have read all year, and I have read a lot! I really enjoy juvenile fiction novels, and what I love even more is finding a book that I can't wait for my kids to read on their own (when they are a little older). This book is going on my bookshelf in anticipation of that day.

Ten-year-old Mu is an orphan who was taken in by some distant family who really doesn't seem to care for him at all. He just can't find a place to belong. Then, one morning, he is called on by none other than a chameleon. A talking chameleon. Of course Mu is extremely curious and excited, although he is really confused because the chameleon, Tita, keeps talking about Mu's real identity and his quest, which is all news to Mu.

Tita leads Mu on this quest. Throughout the book you have no idea what Mu's quest possibly could be, but it does seem like most of the animals he encounters are at least aware of his importance. Some even sacrifice their life so that he can continue his quest. And in the end, when the quest is fulfilled, I guarantee a smile will erupt on your face.

This book is unlike any book I can remember ever reading. The beauty of an African jungle is woven in, along with subtle spiritual tones throughout the story. I highly, highly recommend this book.

Thank you to Litfuse Publicity for a copy of the book in exchange for my honest review.

Please feel free to watch the book trailer below: