Saturday, February 27, 2016

Your New Money Mindset (Review)

This review is for the book "Your New Money Mindset" by Brad Hewitt and James Moline. I will be honest. I actually kind of put off reading this book because I thought it was going to be a tough read, with big words about finances, and a lot of lecturing that I really did not want to hear. I was pleasantly surprised when I actually sat down and read the book. It is a really easy read. The authors are so down-to-earth and honest. They speak in ways that are really easy to understand, and even though they made me feel convicted about some of my financial thoughts, I didn't feel as though I was being lectured. The authors spend the first part of the book just talking about our money mindset and how money plays into our lives as Christians. They suggest you take an assessment on their website, which I actually took AFTER I read the whole book. It didn't take long and I don't know that it was really helpful. I pretty much know what aspects of finances I struggle with, so while reading the book I was really paying attention to certain sections that I knew really pertained to me. The authors talk about several important aspects to finances, such as a sense of security, contentment, freedom, generosity, and trust in God. This is a great book if you need a little checkup on your financial attitude and I highly recommend it.

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

Friday, February 19, 2016

Come Empty (Review)

This review is for the book "Come Empty" by Saundra Dalton-Smith. This book is meant to be a devotional. The author discusses the internal pains that so many of us have, and then challenges readers to spend five minutes a day for fifty days reading these devotionals. The devotions focus on things such as your relationship with God and others, negative emotions, your identity, changes that come up, illness, positive emotions and gratitude. Each devotion has a short section called "Your Heart's Cry" which is what someone in that situation might be saying to God, or how you might be feeling. Then there is a part called "His Reply" which would be what God might say to you if you are in that situation. There is scripture to go with each section for the reader to dig into deeper. Then there are "Going Deeper Questions" which is a good opportunity for you to journal your feelings and answers to these questions.

The devotions are very short and easy to fit into a typical day, even a very busy day. It is very likely that you will have no problem doing one of these every day. And you may want to read more than one at a time, which is what I ended up doing. I really liked these short devotions. The ones that were meaningful to me were very helpful, and I was able to send one of them that was specific about cancer to a friend of mine whose husband is going through chemo right now. This is a great book.

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

Thursday, February 18, 2016

If I Run (Review)

This review is for the book "If I Run" by Terri Blackstock. My grandmother got me into Terri Blackstock years ago, and I have always enjoyed her books. This one was certainly no exception.

In this novel we are introduced to Casey, who is cleaning up a murder scene, but readers know right away that she did not commit the murder. For whatever reason, though, Casey is sure that she is going to be sought after for committing this murder, so she goes on the run right away. Through a series of events, Dylan Roberts is hired to find Casey and bring her home so she can be tried for her alleged crime. Casey spends the entire book running for her life and hiding. The reader finds out through Dylan's investigation that something fishy is going on. Dylan begins to believe that Casey did not commit the murder and may even be in danger from people who are supposed to keep her safe.

I loved this book. It kept me on edge. I loved Casey's character. She is wanted for murder and yet she just cannot help but get in situations where she is helping people and even putting her life on the line to help others. Both Casey and Dylan are incredibly smart and they make a great team - even though they technically aren't supposed to be on the same side.

The end of the book really got me because it was a bit of a cliffhanger. Terri Blackstock, please tell me this is the first book in a series! I HAVE to find out what happens next!!

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

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Kissed by a Cowboy (Review)

This review is for the book "Kissed by a Cowboy" by Debra Clopton. This is part of her Four of Hearts Ranch romance series. I have been fortunate enough to read her other two books in the series, but you could definitely read this as a stand-alone novel if you desire. In this book, Cassidy is moving to Wishing Springs, Texas, where her great aunt Roxie used to live. Cassidy is going to live in the farm that Roxie left her to run in her recent will. Unfortunately, her only neighbor is a guy that broke her heart - Jarrod Monahan. Even worse, it turns out that he can be really helpful to Cassidy as she is trying to navigate the farm and orchard and also try to move past her recent divorce.

I really like the characters in these novels. They are fun, and realistic, and now that I have read three of the books I really feel like I know the people in this little town. I can definitely recommend this book and the whole series.

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

Monday, February 15, 2016

Sunday, February 14, 2016

A Son's Vow (Review)

This review is for the book "A Son's Vow" by Shelley Shepard Gray. In this book, readers meet a community struck by tragedy. Three months prior to the beginning of the book there was a fire at a local lumber mill that killed five Amish men. They were husbands, fathers, brothers, boyfriends... the whole community was affected by the fire. There is a lot of animosity, bitterness and blame throughout the community.

In this story, Lukas Kinsinger, the head of the mill, reaches out to his best friend, Darla Kurtz, whose father died in the fire and has been blamed for accidentally starting it. The book revolves around their relationship and processing the bitterness that has grown between their two families. We are also introduced to Hannah, who lost a boyfriend in the fire, and by the end of the book we are seeing a new relationship blossom with her.

In this book we see families processing a tragedy and trying to work through it. The romance between Lukas and Darla cannot be denied but it is a tough road to travel. I am excited that this is a new series from Shelley Shepard Gray, because I really enjoyed the story and the characters. I want to find out what will happen to Hannah in the next book.

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

Friday, February 12, 2016

Bronner (Review)

This review is for the book "Bronner" by Sherri Burgess.

To be honest, this is one of the more captivating non-fiction books I have read lately. I read the entire book in less than 90 minutes. Before reading this book I had never heard of Sherri Burgess, or her husband Rick, who is a bit of a celebrity due to his radio show. I am not giving away any secrets by letting you know that this book is about Sherri's journey after her youngest son dies, because that information is on the back cover of the book. Sherri will take you through the days leading up to Bronner's death, where you learn about his energy and vivaciousness. She will walk you through the moments leading up to his death, that will make you cringe if you are a parent and hope for the story to change, even though you know the back cover already told of Bronner's death. You will question God's plan as Sherri tells about standing in the hospital, prayer warriors filling up the chapel, 7000 people praying with her husband at a conference, and Sherri pleading for Bronner's life, all while the doctors look at her and shake their heads. You will feel helpless reading this part of the story.

But then Rick arrives at the hospital. I literally have never known anyone in this situation to stand in front of the doctors who just pronounced a 2-year old dead, and say, "Satan has greatly miscalculated this!" and begin preaching to the doctors and nurses. In fact, below, I have linked to the eulogy that Rick gave at his son's funeral. I have not watched the full video but I read the transcript and it is truly from God and miraculous that he was able to say these words at his son's funeral.

At one point in the book, Sherri talks about Bronner being her world, which I can completely relate to. My children (and family in general) are my world. But Sherri points out that Jesus is supposed to be our world. So many times I have caught myself wondering how I would handle life without one of my children in it. Sherri had those same thoughts. But the truth is, that God holds us all in his hands, and as she so bluntly points out, he doesn't necessarily want us to be happy, but to be holy. The trials in our life will refine us and make us holy if we will allow him to work in us.

I can't recommend this book enough. The testimony in this book is overwhelming. A must read, even if you have never found yourself in a tragic situation.

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

Keeper of the Stars (Review)

This review is for the book "Keeper of the Stars" by Robin Lee Hatcher. I have read many of Hatcher's books over the years and I really enjoy her writing style.

In this book, Penny has buried both her mother and her brother. She is devastated, and can't seem to get past the bitterness, as much as her father tries to help her through it. When her brother's former bandmate comes to town, it brings up even more sad feelings for Penny, as she blames the band for her brother's death. Unfortunately for her, Trevor Reynolds made a promise to Penny's brother that he would hang around town and help keep an eye on Penny and her dad. Pretty soon, Trevor finds that he loves the small town. He finds true happiness and contentment there. And soon after that, Penny begins to make peace with Trevor being around all the time. I'm sure you can guess where the story goes from there!

I liked the characters in this book a lot. They aren't cheesy; they are very likable. This is part of the Kings Meadow series, which I didn't realize when I started reading the book. Now that I have read this one I would love to read the others in the series. Great book for a feel-good, easy read.

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

Sunday, February 7, 2016

Blue Ribbon Trail Ride (Review)

This review is for the book "Blue Ribbon Trail Ride" by Miralee Ferrell. This is book four in her Horses and Friends series. This series is written for young kids but I really enjoyed it! In this particular book, Kate wants to raise money for her autistic brother to go to camp. Her friends join in and they all decide to create a horse scavenger hunt to raise money. The planning and preparing is going great, until Kate's mom's antique jewelry box disappears - holding ALL the scavenger hunt money! The kids are officially on a search to find the thief.

I loved many things about this book. First of all, I loved that it was an easy read but it also has some very challenging vocabulary. I actually passed this book to my 6-year old daughter to read when I was done with it. It is great for building vocabulary and reading in context. Also, I loved that you can read this book without reading the rest of the series - but I am actually starting with book 1 in the series so that I can read all of them chronologically. Another thing about this book is that the family in this book lives out their faith but isn't overbearing or too cheesy. The parents in the book are great about teaching their kids responsibility and leadership as well as forgiveness and prayer. I think if you have a child between eight and fourteen or so, they would really enjoy this book. If you have a good reader, a younger child can read it with ease as well. Definitely recommending this series and want to read more by Ferrell in the future!

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