Saturday, October 24, 2015

Bathsheba by Angela Hunt (A Dangerous Beauty Novel book 2)

What is your first thought when the name Bathsheba is mentioned?  Have you ever thought of what she went through or how she felt when David's coveting destroyed the life she had?  Do you think that she in some way was at fault?  This book is told from Bathsheba's perspective of the familiar story that hurt many as a result of a secret sin.  Below you can find out about the book and see what my thoughts were after reading this book.


From the Back Cover:

One of Ancient Israel's Most Famous Women--
As You've Never Looked at Her Before

One of the Bible's most misunderstood and misjudged women, Bathsheba comes to life in this new biblical re-imagining from Angela Hunt. Combining historical facts with detailed fiction, this is an eye-opening portrait that will have you reconsidering everything you thought you knew about her.

After receiving God's promise of a lifelong reign and an eternal dynasty, King David forces himself on Bathsheba, a loyal soldier's wife. When her resulting pregnancy forces the king to murder her husband and add her to his harem, Bathsheba struggles to protect her son while dealing with the effects of a dark prophecy and deadly curse on the king's household.

My Review:
This book took me to places I had not thought about when reading this story.  I've only ever thought about David and his sin against God, Bathsheba and Uriah the Hittite.  I have not ever stopped to think about how Bathsheba dealt with all that happened to her--forced to lie with the king, murder of her husband and death of her first born child. I found myself thinking through this story and contemplating the events like never before.  It has also challenged me to take time and review the story from Scripture.  So, I would encourage you to pick up a copy of this book and let it challenge you in the way you think of Bathsheba.  It will force you to see her not as another abstract character in King David's life, but as a real person who endured some pretty hard circumstances.

***I received this book free from Bethany House Publishers in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

Monday, October 19, 2015

Song of the Stars by Sally Lloyd-Jones; Paintings by Alison Jay

Are you looking for a fun new book for your toddler this Christmas season that is centered around the true meaning of Christmas?  I was excited to see that Sally Lloyd-Jones' picture book Song of the Stars was available now in a board book.  Just perfect for my 1 year old this Christmas!! Her name may sound familiar if you've seen her fantastic Jesus Storybook Bible.  Such a great book for children!  If you've not taken a look at this sweet Christmas picture book yet, than take some time to read below why you'll want to pick this one up for Christmas.

Book Description

From New York Times bestselling author Sally Lloyd-Jones, Song of the Stars Christmas picture book is now available in the popular board book format.
This board book edition of Song of the Stars, written by New York Times bestselling author Sally Lloyd-Jones and illustrated by Alison Jay, is a Christmas book that explores the joy and celebration in all of creation at the coming of Jesus.
They’ve been waiting with eager longing for the coming of God’s promised Son, and when at last he arrives, the whole earth holds its breath: their Creator, Jesus, Emmanuel has come to the world that he made. Trees, seas, skies, stars, animals—they all spread the news that at last the time has come. It’s time! He’s here!

My Review:
 I thought the story was sweet how it tells the Christmas story through the eyes of the animals.  I think it reiterates that the whole earth, all of His creation, is groaning until Jesus, the Rescuer comes back.  The pictures are beautiful and fun to look at for little ones.  I love the message that is repeated over and over of "It's time! It's time!"  Such excitement that we should be sharing with our kids of our Savior who gave up everything for us in order to rescue us from our sin.  I'm looking forward to wrapping this one up and using it along with other fun surprises for our advent/count down to Christmas this year.

Watch below as Sally Lloyd-Jones reads her book at live online Christmas party in 2011.

About the Author:
Sally Lloyd-Jones is a leading writer of inspirational books for children. She is the author of three bestselling children’s Bibles, including the Gold Book Award-winning Baby’s First Bible and, most recently, the Moonbeam Award Winner and ALA notable, The Jesus Storybook Bible: Every Story Whispers His Name. She has written many picture books for children, including the critically acclaimed New York Times bestseller How to Be a Baby: By Me, the Big Sister. Sally was born and raised in Africa, was schooled in England, and now lives in New York City. She can be found at www.sallylloyd-jones.com.

*** I received this book free from BookLook bloggers in exchange for an honest review.  All opinions are my own

Thursday, October 15, 2015

The Memory Weaver by Jane Kirkpatrick

Jane Kirkpatrick's newest historical fiction novel just released at the end of September.  The Memory Weaver is based on the true story of the life of Eliza Spalding Warren.  Journey back in time to a place that is filled with uncertainty, uprisings, and adventure.

From the Back Cover:

"Jane Kirkpatrick puts flesh and blood on the bones of history. Set against an authentic nineteenth-century background, this is a superb story of a woman's struggle to triumph over time and place. . . . A memorable book."--Sandra Dallas, New York Times bestselling author


Eliza Spalding Warren was just a child when she was taken hostage by the Cayuse Indians during a massacre in 1847. Now a mother of two, Eliza faces a new kind of dislocation; her impulsive husband wants to make a new start in another territory, which will mean leaving her beloved home and her mother's grave--and returning to the land of her captivity. 

Haunted by memories and hounded by struggle, Eliza longs to know how her mother dealt with the trauma of their ordeal. As she searches the pages of her mother's diary, Eliza is stunned to find that her own recollections tell only part of the story.

Based on true events, The Memory Weaver is New York Times bestselling author Jane Kirkpatrick's latest literary journey into the past, where threads of western landscapes, family, and faith weave a tapestry of hope inside every pioneering woman's heart. Get swept up in this emotional story of the memories that entangle us and the healing that awaits us when we bravely unravel the threads of the past.

Take a minute and watch this book trailer about the novel and then look below for my thoughts about the book!



My Review:
 I had not heard before of this piece of American history.  Jane Kirkpatrick is great at finding historical events that need to have a story written about them.  Can you imagine being the first woman to cross the United States to go and be a missionary to the Indian people?  What a trek across the country, not knowing what to expect and facing all kinds of hardship.  That was life of Eliza Spalding, the mother.  These women were pretty tough back then.  This story has quite a violent background with the Whitman Massacre happening in 1847.  I had not remembered that from history class, and it was interesting to read about a family that would of survived that horrible event.  The events of this story are told by two different women, Eliza Spalding, the mother, and Eliza Spalding Warren, the daughter.  I thought the way Jane Kirkpatrick told the story from two different perspectives was interesting.  While Eliza Spalding Warren told the story in the present, Eliza Spalding, the mother, told her story as past journal entries. The story was thought provoking and an interesting read even though I don't agree with the Presbyterian theology mentioned in this book.  I will say that it was hard to read through this book with all the hardship that each character faced, a little depressing in my opinion. But don't we all face hardships in our lives that we must overcome? I thought Eliza Spalding Warren said things well in the novel:  "Tragedies happened.  People suffered.  I was learning that it was what one did with the suffering that mattered." (pg. 289)  
If you're looking for a book that doesn't cut the corners but tells things like they happened...the good, the bad and the ugly...  Then this book is for you.  A great historical novel about one of the first Presbyterian families to take the message of Jesus to the Indians in the West.  

***I received this book for free from Revell in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own. 

Friday, October 9, 2015

The Methuselah Project by Rick Barry

Looking for a fun story that has some mysterious, far-fetched scientific experiments happening? Then pick up The Methuselah Project by Rick Barry.  This story will keep you glued to your book wondering how Pilot Captain Roger Greene will every survive being a guinea pig for the Nazi's unthinkable experiment.

From the Back Cover:
Shot down over Nazi Germany in 1943, Roger Greene becomes both a prisoner and an unwilling guinea pig in a bizarre experiment.  Seventy years later, Roger still appears as youthful as the day he crash-landed--and he's still a prisoner.  Nearly insane from his long captivity, Roger finds his only hope in an old Bible.
Not until our present time does Roger finally escape from the secret society running the Methuselah Project.  When he does, the modern world has become a fast-paced, perplexing place.  His only option is to accept the help of Katherine Mueller--crack shot, go-getter, and attractive to boot.  Can he convince her of the truth of his crazy story? And can he continue to trust her when he finds out she works for the very organization he's trying to flee?

My Review:
This book was fun to read.  It was highly entertaining and hard to put down.  Roger Greene is an interesting, likable character that pulls you into his story and has you routing for his escape.  Secret societies are always good for keeping a story filled with action.  And the plot seemed like a story straight out of Hollywood's science fiction.  With way this story ends, I'm hoping that there will be some kind of sequel.  I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book and would recommend it!!!

***I received this book free from Kregel Publications in exchange for an honest review.  All opinions are my own.

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

‘Just Show Up’ by Kara Tippetts and Jill Lynn Buteyn (Plus a Tried & True Friendship Giveaway)

Kara Tippetts' and Jill Lynn Buteyn's book, Just Show Up has released!  I found great encouragement in Kara Tippett's book The Hardest Peace and was interested in reading this book about "the dance of walking through suffering together."  We are surrounded by people who bear enormous weights whether that be physical, emotional, or mental.  It's very rare that we don't know someone who is suffering.  Our problem is that we have no idea how to connect with them or be an encouragement to them as they endure suffering.  This book is a such a great resource!  And I would encourage you to take some time and read through why Just Show Up would be a great book to add to your library.


About the book:
Just Show Up
(David C Cook, October 2015)

Kara Tippetts's story was not a story of disease, although she lost her battle with terminal cancer.

It was not a story of saying goodbye, although she was intentional in her time with her husband and four children. Kara's story was one of seeing God in the hard and in the good. It was one of finding grace in the everyday. And it was one of knowing "God with us" through fierce and beautiful friendship.

In Just Show Up, Kara and her close friend, Jill Lynn Buteyn, write about what friendship looks like in the midst of changing life seasons, loads of laundry, and even cancer. Whether you are eager to be present to someone going through a difficult time or simply want inspiration for pursuing friends in a new way, this eloquent and practical book explores the gift of silence, the art of receiving, and what it means to just show up.

Purchase a copy:
http://bit.ly/1Guvl0N

My Review: 
Suffering is something that I know of first hand.  My brother was killed in a car accident at age 20. My husband and I have gone through the grief of 5 miscarriages. For two years, we watched my Father-in-law suffer as he endured colon/liver cancer, passing away last year at the age of 66.  My mother had not been doing well for a few years, something we thought was attributed to a possible stroke in 2010.  But as things got worse, she was finally diagnosed with a rare neurological disease called CBGD (Cortical Basil Ganglionic Degeneration) at the age of 65.  This is a disease that has an average time span of 6-8 years.  Best as I can recall from onset to now, we are in year 5.  Life hasn't been easy.  I've had a few friends who have stood by my side to help me through the deep waters of grief.  I'm so thankful that God sent those people when He did to hold my head above the water.  Often we have no idea what to do for people.  We stand back and do nothing hoping someone who knows them better will give them the comfort they need.  Or, we just talk with them acting like life is as it always has been.  We pretend that everything is fine and avoid bringing up the subject because we don't want to bring up their pain.  I find that when others don't say anything  I end up feeling pretty alone wondering if anyone cares.  But then, there are those who have ventured out of their comfort zone to feel uncomfortable with me, and I'm so thankful for them.

I understand what it is like to not know what to do.  You know what? Half of the time I don't even know what to do, and it's my own family.  This book that Kara co-wrote with Jill is an essential tool to help people understand how to open themselves up to be a help to another, just as Jesus would long for us to do for one another.  It's not easy.  The road of suffering is hard, and watching those you care about enduring hard trials, will weigh heavily on you.  But we have hope!  Hope in the One Who gave up His life for us. And if He was willing to give of Himself for us, shouldn't we be willing to "Show Up" for those around us?  This book will help you to see those moments as part of the good works He prepared for you to walk in (Eph. 2:10) instead of moments to fear.  Because... this life isn't about us.  I highly recommend that you take the time to pick up this book, and make it an essential part of your library!

You can visit this webpage to see what others are saying about this great book on the blog tour!

***I received this book for free from Litfuse Publicity Group in exchange for an honest review.  All opinions are my own.

About the authors:

The late Kara Tippetts was the author of "The Hardest Peace" and blogged faithfully at mundanefaithfulness.com. Cancer was only a part of Kara's story. Her real fight was to truly live while facing a crushing reality. Since her death in March 2015, her husband, Jason, is parenting their four children and leading the church they founded in Colorado Springs, Colorado.

Read Kara's blog.

Jill Lynn Buteyn is the author of "Falling for Texas," an inspirational novel, and a recipient of the ACFW Genesis Award for her fiction work. She has a bachelor's degree in communications from Bethel University. Jill lives near the beautiful Rocky Mountains with her husband and two children.

Connect with Jill: website, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram

Giveaway Info:

What does friendship look like in the midst of changing life seasons, loads of laundry—and even cancer? Kara Tippetts and Jill Lynn Buteyn teamed up to write Just Show Up, a story of their close friendship and walk through Kara's battle with terminal cancer. Whether you are eager to be present to someone going through a difficult time or simply want inspiration for pursuing friends in a new way, this eloquent and practical book explores the gift of silence, the art of receiving, and what it means to just show up.

Celebrate the gift of friendship with a Tried & True Friendship giveaway—a prize for you and for a friend!

just show up-400 

One grand prize winner will receive:
Enter today by clicking the icon below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on October 23rd. The winner will be announced October 26th on Jill's blog.

Is one of your friends going through a tough time—maybe you need some encouragement? Stop by Kara and Jill's author page, click on the reviews bar, and read through some bloggers' stories of how their friends got them through suffering.

just show up-banner
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