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

"Angels: God's Supernatural Agents" (Review)



This review is for the book "Angels: God's Supernatural Agents" by Ed Rocha. I feel like I have read a lot of these books before, but this is the first time I have heard Rocha's stories and experiences. I will just go ahead and admit that I read this book as a skeptic, but also open to hearing Rocha's testimony. There are a lot of things in this book that I agree with. Rocha does a great job of explaining the duties of angels, such as worshipping God, delivering messages, healing, prophesying, instructing, encouraging, among other things, and also misconceptions about angels. For example, Rocha points out that people do not die and become angels, there are no baby angels in the Bible, angels are asexual, and they do have names and personalities.

Most of Rocha's book is based on his personal experience seeing angels or his experiences at healing services. He also relates stories from other people about their experiences with angels. Although I will admit to still being a bit skeptical after completing the book, I will say that I admire Rocha for the fact that he will not allow people to just give angels credit for everything. There is a section in the book about feathers. Rocha discusses how many times when he has seen angels, there have been feathers left after the church service. But he is quick to point out that just because there are feathers at a church service does not mean they are angelic feathers.

Anyway, the book is an interesting read, especially if you are curious about angelic encounters.

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

Unchained (Review)



This review is for the book "Unchained" by Noel Jesse Heikkinen. This book is a beautiful reminder of the freedom we have in Christ. Heikkinen feels that we often feel trapped by Christianity, and we miss out on the freedom we are supposed to be feeling. This book teaches us how to understand the freedom that we have and how to get there mentally and spiritually.

We so often set God up against the things we have felt in this world. We feel like he must be disappointed with us, because our parents are disappointed with us, as are our teachers, our coworkers, our children, our siblings, etc. The problem is that we believe in eternal forgiveness, but we can't allow ourselves to feel that forgiveness for what we did today. An example of this is is our prayer life. We know we're supposed to pray. We want to pray. So we buy a prayer journal. We download an app on our phone to remind us to pray. We hit several days in a row and we feel great! But then... we miss a day. And we feel this guilt about breaking our streak. Do you see that? We don't necessarily feel guilt about not praying, we feel guilt about not following the structure we set up for ourselves.The same goes for our Bible reading. If we miss one day we beat ourselves up because we got off track. Sometimes our man-made rules become more important than Jesus, and that isn't freedom.

Heikkinen assures us that we have been set free from the Law, religion (we don't have to do anything to be made right with God), sin, shame, and guilt. We want to obey out of love for God and what He did for us. Live to say yes to Jesus. Instead of focusing on all the "don'ts" in the Bible, search out the "dos" in the Bible. Do the dos, and you'll be obeying, and that will lead to freedom.

This book is chock full of wisdom, humor, and there are even discussion questions thrown in to help you take it a bit further. I really enjoyed it, and this book is going on my bookshelf!

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

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Making Marriage Beautiful (Review)



This review is for the book "Making Marriage Beautiful" by Dorothy Littell Greco. I thought this was a really great book, for all married couples, whether you are newlyweds or have been married for 40 years. We go through so many seasons in life, that no matter how long you have been married, you never have it totally figured out! You have to deal not only with each other's idiosyncrasies, opinions, and personalities, but life changes such as bad choices from children, horrible financial situations, loss of family members or pets, job changes, and health issues just to name a few.

This book takes scripture and the advice from eight real-life couples to guide you into a path of an honest marriage, how to acknowledge hurts and disappointments, think of how your cultural background affects your marriage, change unproductive patterns, and learn how to love sacrificially. Each chapter deals with something different, and then includes discussion questions at the end of the chapter to help you and your spouse dig deeper. This book was great at helping me take a look at myself, and think about ways I can change my point of view to be a better spouse. I would highly recommend it to all married couples!

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

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Control Girl (Review)



This review is for the book "Control Girl" by Shannon Popkin. This book was such an eye-opener for me! At first I thought I would just skim this book since I have no control issues whatsoever. Well, imagine my surprise when it turns out that I am a total control freak! This book ended up helping me so much and showing me things about myself that I was just totally blind to. Yes, there are times when it is important for me to be controlling (i.e. decisions regarding my kids, etc.) but sometimes I just want to play devil's advocate. I've realized since reading this book how many times I try to be in control just for the sake of being in control, and I don't want to continue like that. I don't want to feel like I have to be in control in relationships with my friends and family! This book helped me so much with looking at ladies in the Bible and relating that to my life now. I am definitely placing this book on my bookshelf and I will refer back to it as necessary. I am really thankful I read this book and I definitely recommend it for all you control freaks, or those of you who don't think you're control freaks! You might be surprised what you learn about yourself!

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



Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Home At Last (Review)


This review is for the book "Home at Last" by Deborah Raney. This is part of her Chicory Inn series, of which I am a huge fan. I think I have read all of the other books in this series, so I know the characters and back stories really well, but you definitely don't have to read all of them to understand what is happening in this particular novel. This book is about Link Whitman, who is the last bachelor in his family. He hasn't really considered settling down until he meets someone who seems to fit every requirement he is looking for in a partner - Shayla. The problem is, Shayla feels like she is bringing a lot of baggage to a relationship. She feels like people will be prejudiced against them because she is African American and Link's family is white, she is taking care of her niece, her brother is in jail, and her dad is pretty terrifying to potential suitors! Link and Shayla may have a lot of things to overcome, but they just have to decide if their relationship is worth it in the end.

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


Home at Last Deborah Raney

Monday, March 13, 2017

Home to Paradise (Review)



This review is for the book "Home to Paradise" by Barbara Cameron. This is the final book in her Coming Home series, but you can definitely read this book as a standalone novel if you cannot find the other books in the series for some reason. In this book, Rose Anna Zook has watched her two older sisters marry two Stoltzfus men, and always thought she would marry John, the third. But John is in the midst of his Rumschpringe, and doesn't seem to be missing the Amish ways at all. This bothers Rose because she is ready to settle down with John, and she certainly doesn't want to leave the church. She doesn't want to push him because that seems to make him angry, and more resistant to listening to the possibility of returning home. Throughout the book, Rose has to make sure that John not only knows her feelings for him, but her loyalty to the Amish church, and let him find his own way back. I loved this book and the characters in it. There are several sub-plots that add a lot to the story. I would definitely recommend this book.

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

Friday, March 10, 2017

Tightropes and Teeter-Totters (Review)



This review is for the book "Tightropes and Teeter-Totters" by Lisa Pennington. In this book, the author understands that we are all on this "see-saw" of life, trying to balance everything between work, family, being the perfect spouse, being the perfect parent, feeling guilt over what we do, feeling guilt over what we don't do,etc. etc. She talks about balance and how it looks different for everyone. She uses an acronym for balance that will help you go through situations and: begin, assess, learn, account, notify, change, and endure. As the reader goes through the book, Pennington will help the reader apply all of these things to personal growth, spiritual growth, marriage, parenting, maintaining the household, finances, mood swings, friendships - basically every single tenet in life that we probably feel we're out of balance in and failing at!

This book is an easy read but it is great for self-reflection! I really enjoyed it and would recommend it to all my mom friends in particular.

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

Amish Weddings (Review)



This review is for the book "Amish Weddings" by Leslie Gould. This is book three in the Neighbors of Lancaster County series, but you could easily read this as a standalone novel. It was really good. It was actually pretty unexpectedly juicy for an Amish romance novel! In this book, we meet Rose Lehman, who is set to marry the bishop's son, Reuben Byler. Then Rose meets an Army buddy of her sister's beau, and she can't help but be attracted to him. He seems so much more attractive than her boyfriend, and he seems to like her. It's hard to say no when he wants to spend time with her. Then Rose's sister Lila is in an awful accident, and Rose has a bit more freedom than usual. She has to decide how to use that freedom and make some difficult decisions.

This book was great. The plot was really unusual for an Amish novel, but it was also a situation that probably isn't very unusual in real life. I love that there is redemption found in this novel. I enjoyed the characters a lot as well. I would definitely recommend this book and I would like to read the rest of the series as well.

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

Sunday, March 5, 2017

Elusive Miss Ellison (Review)




This review is for the book "The Elusive Miss Ellison" by Carolyn Miller. This is part of the Regency Brides series. In this book, we meet Lavinia Ellison, as well as a new Earl of Hawkesbury. The new Earl has everyone just going gaga - except for Lavinia, who is less than impressed. She has a background with the Earl that brings up awful memories for her, and a situation that he was involved in for which she cannot seem to forgive him. The Earl himself is weighted down with guilt over the situation, and when he has feelings for Miss Ellison, there is a wedge driven between them because of the past.

This book will be a good read for those who enjoy historical romances. The characters are wonderful, the plot is unique and will hold your interest, and is a "feel-good" read.

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

Regency romance fans have another must-read novel to add to their lists: Carolyn Miller's The Elusive Miss Ellison. Enjoy the spirited exchanges between the bluestocking minister's daughter and the bruised war hero as they move past pride and presumption to a humbled appreciation of God's grace and the true strength of love. These two lonely hearts may each have something the other needs. But with society's opposition, ancestral obligations, and a shocking family secret, there may be too many obstacles in their way.

Settle in for a cozy night of reading with a cuppa and a Kindle from Carolyn!


One grand prize winner will receive:

Enter today by clicking the icon below, but hurry! The giveaway ends on March 22. The winner will be announced March 23 on the Litfuse blog.

Treasures in Dark Places (Review)



This review is for the book "Treasures in Dark Places" by Leanna Cinquanta. In this book, Leanna describes in great detail the experiences of being a missionary. I really love stories like this, but for some reason, this book was really hard for me to read. In that, I mean that it was hard for me to follow. I didn't feel like it was written in a manner that flowed smoothly. I think the story itself is beautiful, but the book to me felt too wordy and flowery, which took away from my enjoyment of reading the story. There is no doubt in my mind that what Leanna is doing is amazing and wonderful work, and I love that she is able to share her story so that more people know about the inner workings of being a missionary in India.

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