Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Photographs from the Edge (Review)

This review is for the book "Photographs from the Edge" by Art Wolfe. I am not a photographer (except of my children) but I definitely have an appreciation for photography. This book is a collection of Art Wolfe's photography, and Rob Sheppard has compiled it all, while getting the background story on these fascinating pictures. The book begins with pictures from the 1980's and continues into the modern photographs he has taken. The photographs are of things and situations unlike any that a typical person has ever seen in person. From the Milky Way in Madagascar to hyenas in Botswana, these pictures will astound you and make you realize how huge and magnificent our world is! Wolfe has amazing stories to tell over his decades of experience and any photographer or lover of nature, adventure and photography will enjoy this book.

Thank you to the publisher for a copy of the book.

Saturday, November 26, 2016

Trust My Heart (Review)

This review is for the book "Trust My Heart" by Carol J. Post. In this book, we meet Jami Carlisle, a reporter who lives in small town Murphy, North Carolina. One day, Grant McAllister arrives in town. Grant is from a big city, he's a high-power lawyer, and he is only in town to sell some property he has inherited from grandparents he never even knew. He doesn't trust women and he doesn't trust reporters, so Jami has to do a lot of work to befriend him. She wants the background story of his family, but the more she gets to know him, she starts to really like him.

Grant and Jami go on a journey of distrust and learning more about themselves. Both of them have some baggage, and they have to come to terms with it before they can really trust each other and grow into a relationship.

I loved this book. It's an easy, feel-good read. I love books about small town romance and I really liked the characters in this novel!

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

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Most Wonderful Time (Review)

This review is for the book "The Most Wonderful Time of the Year" by Ace Collins. I really enjoyed this book because it contained really short, interesting readings that will definitely get you in the Christmas spirit! The book is laid out in such a way that you can easily do one reading a day. Each chapter contains a scripture and then a short reading, a background of a Christmas song (such as "What Child is This?" or "Good Christian Men, Rejoice"), and then a recipe either for food or a homemade craft that you could use as a gift.

I absolutely loved this book because I was able to learn something from the devotionals and the sections on the Christmas songs, but then I was also able to find recipes and crafts that I will be able to use on friends and family for a long time in the future! I highly recommend this book as a Christmas gift!

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

Monday, November 21, 2016

Christian's Hope (Review)

This review is for the book "Christian's Hope" by Ervin R. Stutzman. This is actually the third book is Stutzman's Return to Northkill series. In the first book of the series, we meet Jacob Hochstetler, an Amish settler whose peace-loving Amish family is attacked by Indians. Jacob is captured, along with two of his sons, while other members of his family are killed. In this book, readers follow the story of one of the sons, Christian. He spent seven years in captivity with the Indians, but came to love them and their way of life. Getting back into the ways of the Amish is not what Christian wants, and it's a particularly hard transition because of hard feelings between the Amish and Indians. In the end, he is able to find a few family members and members of the community who understand what he is dealing with, and they are able to help guide him in his journey to finding what "home" looks like to him.

This was even more interesting to me when I finished the book and realized it was based on a true story! This story is captivating and intriguing. It's like no other Amish novel I've read.

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

Saturday, November 19, 2016

Fatal Frost (Review)

This review is for the book "Fatal Frost" by Nancy Mehl. This is the first book in the Defenders of Justice series. In this book, we meet U.S. Marshal Mercy Brennan who was just shot in the line of duty. She is still undergoing therapy and psychological evaluations from that when she is suddenly put on a special assignment. The assignment entails her being sent off with her friend and coworker Tally, and another U.S. Marshal who just happens to be her ex-boyfriend Mark.

Hardly before the assignment even gets started, Mercy realizes the assignment is actually set up to keep her in a safe place. Unfortunately, with a traitor in the office, the enemy knows exactly where she is... and is coming for her. She has a lot of questions about why they are coming after her and how they are going to stay safe. Throughout all of this she has to learn to trust Mark again, as well as come to terms with what she feels in regards to God.

This is a great book with lots of danger and suspense! Thank you to Bethany House for a copy of the book.

Friday, November 18, 2016

Cold Case Christianity (Review)

This review is for the book "Cold-Case Christianity for Kids" by J. Warner Wallace and Susie Wallace. This is the type of book that I absolutely love to have on hand for my kids to read. This book is written by someone who is actually a detective of cold cases, but he has tailored this book to fit the learning styles and knowledge of kids. The illustrations are awesome and will definitely capture the attention of the kids reading this book. The book moves along slowly enough to build momentum and keep the attention of kids who are reading it, but quickly enough so that they don't lose interest. This is a great book for young readers to read so they can grasp the foundations of the Christian faith from a "logical" perspective. It is important to have some facts under your belt along with your "blind faith" so you can be strong in the truths you learn. As the kids in the book learn how to investigate the mystery of the skateboard, they are also learning how to investigate God's truths for themselves. I love the parallel throughout the book. I think this book will make a lot of sense to kids who are reading it. I read it with my kids the first time but I would like them to read it on their own over and over again because I think it will only make more sense each time they read it through. I think this is a book that all households should have on their shelf!

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

Life Creative (Review)

This review is for the book "Life Creative" by Wendy Speake and Kelli Stuart. I was just recently introduced to Kelli Stuart as an author, so I was excited to read something of hers that was nonfiction. This book is a calling out to moms all over, that they will not lose their spark and creativity in the midst of the mundane that tends to take over our lives.

This book absolutely gripped me from the second chapter. As soon as the authors spoke on the feeling of longing for bedtime instead of longing for ministry and creativity and inspiring the world, I started nodding in agreement. The authors acknowledge that while we love our "captors", we're under house arrest. Yes, yes, and yes! My days go back and forth between knowing my mission field lives with me and feeling that urge that I need to be doing more. I know I'm not alone! Throughout the rest of the book we learn how to rest, how to listen closely to God, and how to find our creativity in the busyness of our lives.

I absolutely loved this book, and needed this book. I recommend it to all mothers, especially ones with young children!

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

Book of Sayings (Review)

This review is for the book "The Illustrated Book of Sayings" by Ella Frances Sanders. I really enjoyed this book. It is different from any other book I have read and I love unique books. This book will introduce you to the most incredible, or the strangest, sayings that people have throughout the world. A lot of them are sayings that I as an American could relate to. For example, the French say "to pedal in the sauerkraut" which doesn't make much sense to us, but it is comparable to our saying "wheels are spinning". Yet some are totally unique and I could not think of anything in English to compare it to, such as the Latvian phrase "to blow little ducks" which means they know you are lying. What is really interesting is that with each phrase there is a story behind the phrase so you know where it came from. And the illustrations are just perfect. What a great book! This would be the perfect gift for the linguist in your life.

Thank you to Ten Speed Press for a copy of the book.

Thursday, November 17, 2016

Union With Christ (Review)

This review is for the book "Union With Christ". What an amazing topic to be explored. I loved this book from the very beginning, because it reminded me right away that I was saved by God to do things for Him and to be in union with Him. Somehow along our journeys we often forget that. The author discusses how we struggle with our inner voices and the choices we make. We are supposed to be set apart from others in the world, but often that isn't what Christians are known for. Wilbourne discusses other theologians' perspective on unity and his thoughts on their perspectives, which was really interesting. Then he begins discussing what comes next after we have unity in Christ - our identity, where we are headed, our purpose, and our hope. Lastly we have to choose Christ daily - sometimes every minute of the day. We have to make the decision to abide with Christ in unity throughout our day-to-day lives. I really enjoyed this book. It took a tough topic and simplified it to where it is easily understood and I definitely recommend it.

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

Love Our Vets (Review)

This review is for the book "Love Our Vets" by Welby O'Brien. I absolutely loved this book. It is so unfortunate that PTSD is often a silent struggle, or misunderstood. There are so many vets that struggle with PTSD, and without proper counseling, it is extremely hard for families and vets to cope with a diagnosis. Actually, many times, vets are not properly diagnosed, which is even worse. This book is incredible because it goes through three different aspects of living with someone who has PTSD - "reaffirm" which is a section of discussion questions, "replenish" which talks about how to take care of yourself, and "reflect" which tells real-life wisdom that has been taken from people actually in these scenarios. All three of these parts are so important. I think the "reaffirm" section is incredibly important because it answers so many tough questions that have to do with the disconnect of emotions that PTSD can cause, how to pray for your vet, and how to deal with nightmares. There are so many details in this section that you are probably dealing with for the first time ever, whether you are the parent, child, or significant other of a vet with PTSD. I believe this book should be read by everyone who has a loved one in the service, because you never know when you will need to put this wisdom to use in real life.

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

40 Days (Review)

This review is for the book "40 Days to a Joyful Motherhood". This book is a combination of devotions as well as coloring pages specifically created for moms. I absolutely loved this book. I have been wanting to try out one of these for a while. The devotions are short and to the point, so they are easily completed in less than 10 minutes, but you will still get the benefit of slowing down and having a quiet time. The coloring pages are beautiful designs and many of them have scripture or short biblical phrases incorporated. I would definitely recommend this book for any mom friends, especially ones who are feeling hurried or wiped out. It would make a great birthday gift or Christmas gift!

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

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Total Family Makeover (Review)

This review is for the book "Total Family Makeover" by Melissa Spoelstra. I really enjoyed this book. It has eight practical steps to making disciples at home, which is some very important and necessary information in the world we live in! The author goes through some very important aspects of the Christian faith, such as praying, reading the Bible, serving, resting, giving, and other foundational things that the children should be educated on at home. She has an approach to each of these things that is practical and easily applied to your real life. There are lots of discussion questions included with each topic that will help you dig deeper in God's word about each topic, and there are lots of questions you can use to start a discussion with your children. I loved this book. It was easy to read and down to earth and I can definitely apply so much of this to my everyday life!

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

Friday, November 11, 2016

10 Myths of Teen Dating (Review)

This review is for the book "The 10 Myths of Teen Dating" by Daniel Anderson and Jacquelyn Anderson. This is a really cool book because it is written by a father and daughter. It is so interesting to see their different perspectives on the teen dating world. I think this book is a must-have. These dating myths are so accurate and so many teen girls fall for them, such as "I'm in love", "Love and sex are the same", and "If I had a boyfriend I would be happy". I think a lot of us ladies would look back at our teen years and cringe about something in our past. Let's use that when talking to our daughters or girls in our community! Each chapter touches on a different myth, and then some discussion questions as well as experiences from the perspective of the father and daughter authors. It is such a great book and it just really rings true. I highly recommend this book if you have a daughter who is about to hit puberty or is in her teen years already.

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

Saturday, November 5, 2016

From the Pen of Pastor Paul (Review)

This review is for the book "From the Pen of Pastor Paul" by Daniel R. Hyde. This book is a detailed, in-dept study on 1 and 2 Thessalonians. I absolutely love Paul's letters in the Bible, and I love reading commentaries to get another perspective on the scripture. This book really broke the two books down verse by verse. I would love to read more books by Hyde in the future. I love it when I can tell that an author does his homework and studies diligently. It is also important that the book is written in a way that I can understand it and gain knowledge from it, and that is definitely true about this book. It is a great resource to have in your library.

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

Thursday, November 3, 2016

A Bird, A Girl, and a Rescue (Review)

This review is for the book "A Bird, a Girl, and a Rescue" by J.A. Myhre. Almost exactly a year ago, I was reading the first book by the fabulous J.A. Myhre. I remember reading it in just a few hours because I couldn't put it down, and I walked around for weeks hailing it as one of the best young adult fiction books I had ever read. I recommended it to everyone who would listen. So obviously I was stoked to read her latest novel! In this story we meet Kiisa, an 11-year old who doesn't even realize she is about to be sent on the mission of her life. She is sent to boarding school, and while she is there she meets a fantastic bird named Njili who is about to be her closest companion. The story contains adventure, danger, and bravery like none other. It is captivating and I can almost guarantee that not only will you love it, but so will your sons and daughters. This is a book that will stay on my shelf so my kids and I can read it over and over - and that doesn't happen very often.

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

Sister's Wish and Amish Family Christmas

I recently read two of Shelley Shepard Gray's Amish fiction novels. I have read several books written by her and I am never disappointed. This particular books follow her series "Charmed Amish Life" about the city of Charm, Ohio. If you have read any of the other books in this series, the characters will be very familiar to you. If you have not read any of the other books, it will not be difficult to figure out who is who and the relations. Gray does a great job of putting in background information while keeping the story fresh.

In "A Sister's Wish", readers follow the same characters from other Charm novels. We are looking at the story of Amelia Kinsinger and Simon Hochstetler in this book. Simon is originally from Charm, but ran away from home to get away from his abusive Amish parents. He ended up surrounded by bad people who introduced him to drugs and alcohol, and he ended up in prison. He has been the subject of many rumors since coming back to Charm and repenting and joining the church. Amelia doesn't really care about his past. His tattoos and prison stories don't startle her or make her feel judgmental. The hardest part is convincing her family that Simon is deserving of her!

In the Amish Family Christmas book, Levi Kinsinger is feeling lost since his father died in a tragic accident. Julia, his widowed neighbor, asks for help with a Christmas project, and he is excited to finally have a purpose. It doesn't take long before he is starting to develop feelings for Julia as well as her sweet daughter. But for some reason he just isn't sure about her past. He is going to have to figure out how to trust her and she is going to have to figure out how to trust him as well. What happens is a great story of two people coming together to lean on one another and find love.

I received these books from Litfuse Publicity.


The Wish (Review)

This review is for the book "The Wish" by Beverly Lewis. I have read dozens of her books and I have never been disappointed with one of them. This is one of her standalone novels. In this story, we meet Leona Speicher and Gloria Gingerich. They are two Amish girls who come together and soon become like sisters. Leona even dreams of leaving her family and becoming part of Gloria's seemingly perfect family. But soon, something happens, and overnight the entire Gingerich family moves away unexpectedly. Gloria doesn't contact Leona for several long years. When she does, the family has left their Amish roots far behind. Leona desperately wants to pull her friend back into the Amish community. Her fiance is worried that she is biting off more than she can chew, though.

I loved this book. I loved the characters and the friendship. I loved how Leona encouraged Gloria and supported her even when she had obviously left her Amish traditions in the past. This is a great story of friendship and finding your way home.

I received this book from Bethany House Publishers.