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.

Called and Courageous Girls by Harvest House Publishers

Called and Courageous Girls

It's time to be brave! Growing up as a slave girl, Miriam learned how to be brave-and smart. When her baby brother, Moses, was in grave danger, Miriam and her mom saved his life. As Miriam matured, she became a gifted musician and discovered other God-given talents. And when God called Miriam-along with her siblings-to guide the Israelites out of slavery in Egypt, she was ready to lead. With God's help, you can be just like Miriam-called and courageous!

Called and Courageous Girls - Bible Heroes That Inspire Your Child's Faith in God
Called and courageous girls are disciples, political and spiritual leaders, philanthropists, moms, businesspeople, evangelists, prophets, and so much more. Called and courageous women of the Bible face overwhelming odds, finding strength, faith, and courage to join God's Story.
Through examples of steadfast faith and-ultimately-God's direction, the Called and Courageous Girls series invites your children to answer God's calling to discover and use their talents, passions, and gifts to journey with Him on a lifelong adventure.
God is calling every courageous hero-including your child- to arise, trust in Him, and join the Greatest Story.

Thursday, August 31, 2017

Grounded Hearts (Review)



This review is for the book "Grounded Hearts" by Jeanne M. Dickson. In this novel we meet midwife Nan O'Neil. She is a widow who happens to be hounded frequently by a local officer who continues to profess his love for her. He's really just a bother until the day that a wounded Canadian pilot on her front door. This means trouble, because Ireland is neutral in the middle of World War II, so helping either side of the war means facing imprisonment. Nan feels pity for him though, and tries to nurse him back to health. He doesn't get better as quickly as she'd like, and she not only has to fend off the interested police officer, but has to involve some of her local friends to help the pilot - which could mean jail time for them all.

I loved this book and the characters. It was unlike any other book I've read and it was interesting to think how this really could have happened. Nan is not looking for love, but she finds it, and she also finds her courage, strength and faith throughout all of this mess as well.

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

Thursday, August 24, 2017

Super Hero Kids Giveaway with David C Cook!

DOES YOUR CHILD LOVE COMIC BOOKS? HOW ABOUT SUPER HEROES?

Now is your chance to have DC and Marvel illustrator Sergio Cariello make your child's dream come true!

 

Parents!

David C Cook is proud to introduce the newest book in the Action Bible collection: The Action Storybook Bible (coming October 2017). Pre-order The Action Storybook Bible from Amazon, Barnes and Noble, or ChristianBook.com to reserve your copy today. Plus click the graphic below to enter to have a chance to win an illustration of your child as a super hero by Action Bible artist Sergio Cariello (who has also illustrated comics for DC and Marvel!).

 

The giveaway is open until September 11, 2017, 5:00pm MST.  Your entry must be received by then to be eligible. Five winners will be chosen at random from eligible entrants.

{THE ACTION STORYBOOK BIBLE}

Families see the Bible in motion and put their faith into action! The Action Storybook Bible invites families with young children to explore God’s redemptive story together. An entry point into the world of The Action Bible, it tells of the amazing creation story, powerful kings who reigned over ancient Israel, God’s miraculous gift of eternal life through Jesus, and more! God’s promise for the world is displayed throughout every page. Discover your family’s place in God’s incredible story and together put your faith into action! Interactive features include:
  • Fifteen key episodes from God’s Word—each one loaded with several stories along with over 350 brand-new illustrations throughout.
  • Short and easy readings—for children ages eight and under with rich, colorful images.
  • Life, Faith, Action! features—conclude every episode and invite families to talk about how God moves in the stories, how to see God in life today, how to put faith into action, and how to easily talk to God with a suggested prayer.
  • Hall of Fame visual index—the place to look up favorite Bible characters by discovering their icon connections and finding them in the stories.
Learn more and purchase a copy here.

Saturday, August 19, 2017

Hope for the Same-Sex Attracted (Review)



This review is for the book "Hope for the Same-Sex Attracted" by Ron Citlau. Citlau is a pastor who has actually dealt with same-sex attraction in his life. In this book, he shows love and encouragement to those who have feelings of attraction towards the same sex. He does not bash them or show anger towards them. He understands it. But he also shows them that there are options such as celibacy and singleness that are biblical. He encourages people with this struggle to look at those options.

He shows how you need to be plugged into a church and a small group of people who will hold you accountable and also encourage you. He speaks to church leaders and provides ways that they can support these individuals instead of judging them and pushing them away.

Great book, and should be used to encourage those who struggle with these feelings.

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

Friday, August 18, 2017

Essential Guide to Prayer (Review)



This review is for the book "The Essential Guide to Prayer" by Dutch Sheets. This entire book is on the power of intercessory prayer. He begins by talking about why this is such a priority, and goes into how to be an intercessor and why this is so important. He uses scripture to show great intercessors in the Bible, and how we can use that power today. Every chapter ends with a section called "Did You Understand?" where there are discussion questions to help you think about each chapter more in depth. I really enjoyed this book and would recommend it to those wanting to learn more about intercessory prayer and why it is so important.

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

Dragon Seed (Review)



This review is for the book "Dragon Seed" by Marty Machowski. I really enjoyed this book and can definitely see older teenagers, young adults and older adults enjoying it as well.

In this book, we meet Nick, an angry teen, who is told by his mother to read a book about their family history. She is at the end of her rope in dealing with him, and hopes this book will change his heart. As Nick reads, he is introduced to the story of Lord Dragon, and how he spreads his dragon seeds. I love this allegory. We learn about how Lord Dragon has minions to spread his dragon seeds in people, which bloom into selfishness, evil, greed, etc. Unfortunately for him, there is a Prince who comes, and when a person is a follower of the Prince, the dragon seeds cannot take root in the person's heart.

I loved this story of good versus evil. I will admit the characters of Nick's family seemed a little corny to me, but the actual story about the dragon seeds was full of excitement and turmoil.

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





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Winning the Battle (Review)




This review is for the book "Winning the Battle for the Night" by Faith Blatchford. This book focuses on God's intent for nighttime, sleep, and rest. Our world is so fast-paced that many of us struggle with nighttime anxiety, insomnia, restlessness, or brains that just won't quit. We don't get the rest we need, and then we are more vulnerable to anger, mood swings, and even throwing off our appetites and desire to be healthy.

One of the best things I read in this book that I had never thought of is that the dark doesn't belong to the devil. God created the darkness, and it therefore belongs to him. I am safe in the darkness because it belongs to God. His angels watch over me during the night. These are all promises that I can rely on when I am restless or afraid at night.

I really liked the premise of this book and I think that a lot of people could really use this to reclaim their sleep.

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

True to You (Review)






This review is for the book "True to You" by Becky Wade. I think I have read nearly all of the books she has written, if not all. I love her fun style of writing. She makes it easy to enjoy reading her books. This particular book is the first in her Bradford Sisters Romance series.

We meet Nora, who is a genealogist and the complete opposite of a risk-taker - especially after a tough breakup three years ago. John Lawson is a former Navy SEAL and seems to be everything that Nora isn't. But he needs her help because he found out he has an inherited condition, and he is adopted. He asks Nora to help him find his biological parents. As they begin to work together, a relationship starts to form. But they're so different, and both of them have some qualms from previous relationships. They are going to have to work through those to form a solid relationship.

I love the characters and the plot. This book is different from any other stories I've read, so I like the uniqueness of it.

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

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Stepping on Cheerios (Review)




This review is for the book "Stepping on Cheerios" by Betsy Singleton Snyder. I have to say that this is, without a doubt, one of the funniest, most honest books I have ever read. And because of that, I can relate tremendously to it!

Snyder takes us through all the aspects of parenting - the Legos, the anxiety over your children, the lack of self-care we sometimes have, the accidents that can occur right in front of our faces... she relates to all parents, and does it in a way that makes you laugh at yourself and your past mistakes.

I highly recommend this book to all parents. We take ourselves way too seriously, and this is a great reminder that MOST of those things that happen on our watch just don't matter that much. And we can find God in the midst of all our chaos.

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

Thursday, August 10, 2017

Spiritual Warfare (Review)



This review is for the book "Spiritual Warfare for the End Times" by Derek Prince. I have read several books by Derek Prince and I do appreciate his perspective on challenging topics. Prince starts off by talking about what exactly evil is and how Satan works. He basically says if we don't learn how to overcome evil, evil will overcome us. He explains how Satan attempts to destroy us, but because we have victory in Jesus, we can overcome this. He goes over the church's responsibility and how we need to not only learn how to do this in our personal lives, but as a church body. It was a very interesting book and I enjoyed reading his perspective on this topic.

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

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Pray About Everything (Review)



This review is for the book "Pray About Everything" by Paul Tautges. I really enjoyed this book, and especially the perspective of the author that prayer is proof of God-dependency. Each chapter speaks about a different aspect of prayer, such as "constant" prayer, community prayer, and who to pray for. Also discussed are things such as how to pray with thanksgiving, and remembering to include praise in your prayer - don't just make it a bucket list of things we want. He even touches on praying for our government, our elders, and how to pray when we don't even know what to pray about.

I really enjoyed this book and recommend it as a good read.

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

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

My Daughter's Legacy (Review)



This review is for the book "My Daughter's Legacy" by Mindy Starns Clark and Leslie Gould. This is part of the Cousins of the Dove series. In this book, we meet Therese Jennings from Virigina, 1864, but we also meet Nicole Talbot, of present day Virginia. As we read the story we are finding that their lives are intertwined.

I really liked this book because it tied together historical fiction (with romance and suspense) in with a present-day mystery (and romance). We know Nicole's story and what she's dealing with, but as we read the book, we realize how much Therese's story ties in with Nicole's - and we find out a lot of answers.

The characters are great and the story is interesting, so you won't get bored!

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

Saturday, August 5, 2017

The Kindness Challenge (Review)



This review is for the book "The Kindness Challenge" by Shaunti Feldhahn. I absolutely loved this book. I cannot WAIT to put it into practice. In this book, the reader is challenged to think of a relationship that is tough, or strained, or could just be better in general. Feldhahn asserts that we can make small steps to improve these relationships.

What is really amazing is how much this book made me self-reflect. I consider myself a very kind person, but I realized that I can definitely improve in a lot of areas, especially towards my husband and children. For example, one of the chapters talks about thanking my husband for the little things - washing my car, mowing the lawn, etc. These are the things I take for granted that he does. But when I thank him, it's an affirmation of love for him. I also realized that there are times I will thank someone in my family for something and then show exasperation right after. For example, "Thanks for changing the baby's diaper, but I really like for the tabs to be fastened this way", or "Bonnie! You know we don't do it that way!" These things make us lose perspective.

I could go on and on about the tips found in this book and the realizations I've had from reading it, but it would make this review really long. Please grab this book and try it for yourself.

Thank you to Waterbrook Multonah for a copy of the book.

Friday, August 4, 2017

His Guilt (Review)



This review is for the book "His Guilt" by Shelley Shepard Gray. Gray is one of my very favorite fiction authors, so I was excited to read this new book of hers. This is part of her Amish of Hart County series. In this novel, we meet Mark Fisher, who was wrongly accused of assault and left Hart County. We also meet Waneta Cain, who is unsure of Mark's innocence, but is willing to give him a chance to prove himself. They work together, so they start to form a relationship. Unfortunately, it isn't long before an Amish girl is attacked. Everyone in the community believes it's Mark because of the accusations from years ago. The community is afraid and Waneta wonders if she's right to trust Mark.

This is a great book about second chances, trust, building relationships, learning how to love, and getting over your past. I really like the characters and I'd love to read the rest of this series.

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

The Good Book (Review)



This review is for the book "The Good Book" by Deron Spoo. In this book, the author goes over forty chapters in the Bible that reveal the biggest ideas from the Bible. I absolutely loved this idea and was really excited to read it. I really was not disappointed and found this book very interesting.

For example, the author discusses Genesis chapter 3, where "everything broke". Judges 16 which proves that God can use your failures. Matthew 6 which tells us not to worry. Acts 10 which proves that God loves the people you can't stand.

Every chapter actually has the chapter from the Bible, then the author's commentary on why this is such an important chapter, and then questions for reflection. I definitely found this book interesting and don't know that there is another book of its kind out there. I would highly recommend it.

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

Thursday, August 3, 2017

Counterfeit Comforts (Review)




This review is for the book "Counterfeit Comforts" by Robia Scott. This book was so, so good, and talked to me about something I didn't even realize I needed help with. Scott points out that we all have a familiar go-to stress reliever - a glass of wine, ice cream, a television show, online shopping, etc. These are fine for temporary relief, but none of them can leave us with a lasting satisfaction. And some of them lead to harmful and addictive behaviors.

In this book, she talks about overcoming her own counterfeit comforts and encourages readers to make it past these temporary "feel-good" situations and find more permanent peace. Sometimes that means letting go of people, changing your thought process, and self-evaluate. She gives really great steps on how to do all of these things and find a more permanent comfort in your relationship with God.

Thank you to Chosen Publishers for a copy of the book in exchange for my honest review.

Monday, July 31, 2017

The Captain's Daughter (Review)



This review is for the book "The Captain's Daughter" by Jennifer Delamere. This is book one in her series called London Beginnings. The book is set in London in 1879. Rosalyn Bernay is alone and penniless in London, with no references for work or any help. Fortunately she is offered a job at a theater backstage. She falls in love with the theater and would love to pursue it, but she does have some issues from her past that need to be dealt with. While at the theater, she meets Nate Moran, a soldier who was sent home due to a hand injury. Nate was quite sure he couldn't wait to get back to his regiment until he meets Rosalyn, and then he's not so sure what he wants to do...

This story is well written and has plenty of twists and turns to keep you interested. It is one of the best historical romances I have read in a while because there is so much going on in the story, and I really enjoyed the characters as well.

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

Friday, July 28, 2017

Welcome to College (Review)



This review is for the book "Welcome to College" by Jonathan Morrow. This book was absolutely one of the most well-written, most useful books I have ever read. I only wish I had read this book ten years ago when I was entering college!

This book is long, but it is so worth the read. As you enter college, you are introduced to a swarm of other people, other religions, other cultures, other ideas... and many of them will involve people who you respect, people who are smarter than you, and people who are older than you, as well as people who are more confident in their beliefs than you! This book is awesome for affirming your faith and why you believe what you believe, so that YOU can have that confidence. It covers everything from mourning to studying, to staying healthy, to the "big" questions about God (Do all roads lead to God? Did Jesus really rise from the dead?)

I sincerely wish that all teens would get a copy of this book upon high school graduation. I highly recommend it.

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

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Hiding From the Kids in My Prayer Closet (Review)





This review is for the book "Hiding From the Kids in My Prayer Closet" by Jessica Kastner. Kastner begins the book by assuring readers that she is an "Un-Mom" so if any readers also feel like that, they are not alone! She begins the book by describing how she felt like an outsider when around many other moms, because of her personality. Each chapter is a hilarious outtake on our lives as moms. Has your wardrobe gone from slinky dress to comfy bathrobe? Does the term "family vacation" make you cringe? And how much do you LOVE going clothes shopping for yourself with your children in tow? Kastner will have you laughing and nodding in agreement throughout this entire book. Even if you are past some of these phases, I guarantee you will remember what it was like to be in the trenches, as she so adequately puts it!

This book is easy to read because it's totally relevant, and it feels like your best friend just wrote down all her feelings for you to read. Read the book and then pass it on!

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


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Thursday, June 22, 2017

Lighthouse Faith (Review)






This review is for the book "Lighthouse Faith" by Lauren Green. In this book, Green describes a lighthouse as a symbol of hope, comfort and safety. She shows how that relates to our faith. She relates personally to many of the topics found throughout the book, but not only that, you can see how she makes it a point to study certain things in depth. For example, when she talks about how Jesus is the vine, she actually goes to a vineyard in order to talk to the gardener about how the vines grow, and how it relates to theology. She finds that vines have a lot of struggles, so she goes to scientists to learn more about our brains and synapses. When she wants to talk about singing to God, she actually gives the reader an entire music lesson that is most likely way more in depth than anything you have studied before. It is really cool how she relates all these "secular" things to our faith.

I really enjoyed this book and would love to read more from her in the future.

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

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Forensic Faith (Review)







This review is for the book "Forensic Faith" by J. Warner Wallace. This is the second book I have read by Wallace. He is actually a cold-case homicide detective and a former atheist. Wallace uses the skills he has learned as a homicide detective to make the case for the Bible. In this book he shows how researching the Bible is very similar to investigating a case. You have to have training, for example, and be tested so that your faith is stronger. Wallace presents the fact that with a cold case you have no living eyewitnesses at times and the case occurred in the past. Same thing goes for the scripture - there are no scientific tests that can be run, no living eyewitnesses, and yet we can still prove it's true.

This book was really cool. It was interesting to see how someone in this line of work is able to use his skills to prove the Bible is true. I would definitely recommend it to those who are interested in strengthening their faith and learning more about how to stand firm on your beliefs.

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

The Great Chattanooga Bicycle Race by Mike Mizrahi






This review is for the book "The Great Chattanooga Bicycle Race" by Mike Mizrahi. In this book, we go back to Chattanooga in the late 1800's. We meet Anna Gaines, a 19-year old who has just been introduced to the bicycle. Where she lives in the South, cycling is very scandalous for ladies. There is a cycling club but it is for men only. Anna's aunt introduces her to the sport and Anna falls in love with it. She has a bicycle at her house and her father is finally convinced that it's okay to ride it around their property. Soon, though, Anna is out around town, which causes her mother much alarm and embarrassment. Not only that, there are people who are very anti-female cyclists - to the point that they will come after Anna.

This was a really interesting book because even though I know it was fictional, the history behind it is quite real. It is so interesting to think what a scandal this was in this time period. I really loved the characters in this book and the story as a whole. I don't always enjoy historical fiction but this book was one that I didn't get tired of reading one bit.

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


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Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Driver Confessional (Review)






This review is for the book "Driver Confessional" by David L. Winters. I felt like the premise of this book was better than the actual book. This story is about Antonio, a "Buber" driver who uses his faith and charm to get people to have deep conversations with him as he drives them to their destination. On one night, a woman tells him a little about herself, and when she leaves she accidentally leaves her briefcase in Antonio's car. When he finally gets a chance to return it, she's dead. This means he is a lead suspect. As he clears his name, he is led deeper into a mystery involving the Russian mob, corporate greed and many other things that lead his family into danger.

So while the story line was good, the writing felt very stilted to me. Characters spoke in a way that I felt was not realistic, so it was hard for me to feel much emotion toward them or the story in general.

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





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Joy of Letting Go (Review)



This review is for the book "The Joy of Letting Go" by Vicki Caruana. This book, as you can see from the subtitle, is really geared toward parents (okay, moms - we're the ones who have a hard time letting go!) who are releasing their teens into the real world. I loved this book even though my kids are only six and eight, and I thought it was extremely relevant. Caruana talked about the many experiences she had with her children growing up, and the times she had to just let them go and make their own decisions - and often, mistakes. Each chapter had a "Thought Poke" attached to it that made you think a little bit harder about the topic.

I really enjoyed this book. I ended up giving it to another mom who has a couple of children spreading their wings right now, and I thought she needed it more than I do at this moment in time. But this book was definitely encouraging and I will use a lot of the advice as my kids are growing up and going through similar situations.

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

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Getting Jesus Wrong (Review)



This review is for the book "Getting Jesus Wrong" by Matt Johnson. I loved this book. Johnson goes through many of the "Jesus" movements that readers will be familiar with. For example, the "Life Coach Jesus" is the one who will encourage you in a "toothy grinned, megachurch preacher kind of nonsense" (p. 27). Achieving personal goals and having good moral standards is not all that Jesus wants from us. Then there is the "Checklist Jesus". This is checking things off your spiritual list - have you done your quiet time? (Bonus points if you took a picture and put it on social media). Gone to revival lately? Devoured a stack of books related to faith and spirituality? God isn't the one who laid that burden on our shoulders. We do that to ourselves. The author also talks about God's law and God's gospel, and the hope that we have. I really did enjoy this book and I agree with Johnson on so many points. This book is a keeper for me.

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

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Woman's NKJV Study Bible (Review)



This review is for The Woman's Study Bible, version NKJV, from Thomas Nelson. In my opinion, there aren't too many things more exciting than getting a new Bible. They have that great smell, and at first, I don't want to mark up the pages. That doesn't last too long, though!

This Bible is beautiful. Visually, it is printed in full color, so stories, quotes, charts and maps stand out quite a bit from the text. As you read scripture, you will find quotes from Christian women throughout the pages. When you get to Leviticus you'll find a section distinguishing between "clean" and "unclean". In 2 Kings you'll find a chart talking about "The Kings With Two Names". In Proverbs, a section discusses how God answers difficult questions. In Mark, a chart is presented showing the emotions of Jesus. In Acts, we see a timeline of Paul and where his missionary journeys took him.

I absolutely love this Bible. With the gorgeous design, the biographies of many biblical women, topical articles, book outlines, historical significance of passages, maps, charts, timelines, family trees, quotes, index, and concordance, you won't be missing anything in this study Bible. I highly recommend this Bible.

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

Monday, May 15, 2017

The Jesus Club (Review)



This review is for the book "The Jesus Club" by Brian Barcelona. This was a very cool book. I really like true stories, and this is definitely one that will inspire you.

Brian Barcelona felt the call of God when he was just eighteen. He felt an urge to save the high schools of America. At the same time, he realized his limitations - his age, and not even knowing where to start, plus the fact that he is just one person. He did have doubts, but he began to minister to local high schools. I imagine it was discouraging for him when he would hold meetings, only to have three or four people show up. He never gave up, though, and gradually he would fill auditoriums and gymnasiums with hundreds of high school students. He broke through to some who would never step foot in a church.

I love this story, and I love Brian's heart for teenagers. He proves that if you follow God's will, great things will happen. I encourage you to read this book and have the courage to step out in faith like Brian is doing.

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

Friday, May 12, 2017

Think Again Review




This review is for the book "Think Again" by Jared Mellinger. I really enjoyed this book. The purpose of this book is to help us realize that the gospel rescues us from false guilt, inaccurate thoughts of ourselves, and discouragement. Self-reflection is a great thing, but not when taken to an extreme. If we are so focused on ourselves that we become unfruitful and ineffective for God, then we need to change that and fix our eyes on God. We fight false guilt when we compare ourselves with other families. Mellinger gives the example of when we see a Facebook post of a family with the hashtags: "#GreatFamilyDevotions #MakingMemories #PureJoy". And then all we can think about is what we aren't doing. We have to do an assessment of our own family, our own situation, and take it to God and scripture. If our guilt is real and we have actually sinned, it can be fixed by repenting, confessing, and then rejoice as God has forgiven us. There were so many good tidbits in this book that made me feel relieved and understood. I really enjoyed this book, and it will be going on my bookshelf!

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

Conspiracy of Silence Review



This review is for the book "Conspiracy of Silence" by Ronie Kendig. This is a book from the series "The Tox Files". In this book, there is a centuries-old disease that is unleashed, and Cole "Tox" Russell is the one who is called into action. He gets together his old Special Forces team to work with trained archaeologists and FBI experts to find a cure, before the plague spreads too rapidly.

This is a book that will definitely interest you if you like some mystery, military force, global ties, and romance all wrapped up in one novel. I did find it a bit hard to get into, and there is a lot of background on the characters that would probably be clearer if I had read any of the previous novels in the series.

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

Friday, May 5, 2017

A Fragile Hope (Review)


This review is for the book "A Fragile Hope" by Cynthia Ruchti. Ruchti is one of my favorite authors and I always try to read her latest books, because I feel pretty sure that I will enjoy any of her novels that I pick up!

In this novel, we are first introduced to Karin, who obviously has a great talent and also obviously feels unappreciated by her husband. She's had enough, and she's come up with a plan to really get him to take notice of her and realize the error of his ways. Unfortunately, her plan does not go as expected, and ends in tragedy, not just for her, but for her best friend and her husband.

The funny-not-funny thing is - Karin's husband is an up-and-coming author who is famous for his marriage advice. He spends all his free time writing books and meeting deadlines, and yet he totally ignores his wife in order to reach his goals.

Once he finds out about Karin's plan, he has to take action. I don't want to give away too much of the story, but he has to sort through her feelings based on assumptions, for the most part. And he has to learn how to deal with her feelings and his feelings. He also has to find his way back to God throughout all of this.

I really liked this book. I liked the characters and the story is definitely unique. Another great novel by Cynthia Ruchti!

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



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Brave is the New Beautiful (Review)

This review is for the book "Brave is the New Beautiful" by Lee Wolfe Blum. I loved this book. I loved Blum's honesty in her feelings because what she said really resonated with me. It's so easy to compare ourselves to everyone else, and feel ourselves shrink, as she talks about in the first chapter. It's so tough to reinvent ourselves when what we're doing isn't working, but we aren't exactly sure what our path is supposed to look like. And of course, at some point in our lives, we all struggle with where we belong.

With every issue that Blum touches on, she shares personal stories that she has experienced or from other real people. She shares how they processed and the end result. She also provides reflection questions at the end of each chapter that are great for going deeper, especially on the particular issues that are affecting the reader.

I loved this book and I would definitely recommend it to others who are seeking to find out who they truly are, and live authentically.

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


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Saturday, April 15, 2017

Unsinkable Faith by Tracie Miles




This review is for the book "Unsinkable Faith" by Tracie Miles. This is a great book, because it is so easy to have that strong, solid faith when things in your life are going well. Often, when a tragedy happens though, you start to sink. Your attitude goes south and you don't feel peace or joy anymore. But the author sets out to show us how to get through those patches without getting bogged down with a pessimistic mind-set.

Miles points out that there are many reasons you might have a negative mind-set. It might not even be from one particular tragic event. It might be from negativity you have received over a lifetime. It might be feeling negativity toward someone else. For example, if you spend all day thinking about what your spouse could do better, that negativity can result in negative behavior towards him. If you constantly are thinking about how your boss doesn't value you or no one does things right at your work, you'll have a bad attitude about your job. Negative thoughts can bring a lack of confidence, a feeling of being unforgivable and unlovable, and all of that can translate into your relationship with God. I love how Tracie shows us in this book how to self-reflect and create charts to help us really look deeper. For example, one of the charts has the reader write down "What I Experienced" (such as my boss got mad at me), "Misconceptions About Me" (I'm not good enough", and "Misconceptions About God" (I'm not good enough to be loved by God). There are memory verses at the end of each chapter for specific purposes, such as regarding burdens, or freedom, or being made new.

This is such a good book. We could all use a little positivity and help with getting out of our negative ruts at times!

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

Unsinkable Faith Tracie Miles

Lisa Lloyd's 'Chasing Famous' Prize Pack Giveaway



This review is for the book "Chasing Famous" by Lisa Lloyd. Lloyd is an actress who has appeared on television shows and commercials, as well as in many performances at theaters around the country. She knows a thing or two about being in the spotlight, and how good that can make us feel. I mean, let's face it. Even those of us who are not celebrities (major or minor) enjoy the spotlight every so often! We like to be patted on the back for a job well done. We like social media because we can show off our kids in matching Sunday outfits, flowers our husband has brought us, we celebrate promotions and material gains and vacations. But the fact is that we should be living to make God famous. If it weren't for God, I wouldn't have my kids, or my husband, or the career I love, or my safe, sturdy house. And yet we crave so badly for approval from people around us that we continue to aim the spotlight back at us.

I love how Lisa makes each chapter something about a performance. She talks about the audience (we're seeking the approval of others), booking a job (what is God calling me to do?), photoshop (your perception of your body) and many, many other relatable things. Each chapter has several discussion questions so you can look closer at yourself and examine yourself.

I loved this book. It was easy to read and very easy to relate to. I loved Lisa's honesty, the personal experiences shared in this book, and how well she relates everything to scripture. I highly recommend this book.

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



Chasing Famous Lisa Lloyd