Tuesday, October 3, 2017

All She Left Behind by Jane Kirkpatrick

Jane Kirkpatrick is known for writing books that are based on real history from America's past eras. All She Left Behind is no different and tells the story of an amazing woman named, Jane E. Pickett, also known as Jennie.

From the Back Cover:
Already well-versed in the natural healing properties of herbs and oils, Jennie Pickett longs to become a doctor. But the Oregon frontier of the 1870s is an unforgiving place--especially for a single mother. To support herself and her young son, Jennie finds work caring for an older woman. When her patient dies, Jennie discovers that her heart has become entangled with the woman's widowed husband, a man many years her senior. Their unlikely romance may lead her to her ultimate goal--but the road forward is uncertain.

My Thoughts:
I love that Jane Kirkpatrick writes about these amazing stories of women long forgotten by time, and brings their stories to life for a new generation. I have enjoyed her stories over the years, and this one is just as great. Jane Pickett's story is one of courage and determination to follow a life long dream even when it didn't seem possible. The author draws the reader into the story and connects her with the characters, which makes it hard to put the book down. The historical side of this story is so vivid and brings American history to life. And then the fact that these characters were real people back in the 1870's, makes the story that much grander. If you're looking for a great historical fiction book, then pick up Jane Kirkpatrick's newest book, All She Left Behind! It's a great book to add to your personal library.

My Rating: ★★★★★

***I received this complimentary book from Revell Publishing. I was not required to write a positive review. All opinions are my own.

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

The Action Storybook Bible Kindle Fire Giveaway

Are your kids into graphic novels? Then here is a product you should check out! David C. Cook has released The Action Storybook Bible which is a Bible that merges the graphic novel idea with a paraphrased Bible. Read below and find out this new product for kids.
About the book:

The Action Storybook Bible invites families with children ages 8 and under explore God's redemptive story together.
From the sleek and amazing creatures God created at the beginning of the world to the powerful kings who reigned over ancient Israel to Jesus's gift of eternal life for you and your family-God has a beautiful and exciting plan for the world. Where do you fit into that plan? How are the truths found in God's Word reflected in your life?
This Bible storybook features 15 episodes highlighting key milestones in God's story, packed with dozens of scenes-combining stories from God's Word with brand-new captivating illustrations from Brazilian master-artist Sergio Cariello, illustrator of the bestselling The Action Bible. Discover your family's place in God's redemptive story and together put your faith into action!
Interactive features include:
-Fifteen episodes loaded with over 350 brand-new illustrations from master-artist Sergio Cariello.
-Short and easy reading for all ages. Take turns telling God's redemptive story!
-The Life, Faith, Action! feature wraps up each episode and helps your family recognize how God is moving through each story, discover how that relates to your daily lives, and feel inspired to put your faith into action.
-Heroes Hall of Fame index, where you can look up your favorite Bible characters and discover their stories!

My Thoughts:
I thought that merging these two ideas together was interesting. I know that graphic novels have caught my daughter's attention, and she enjoys reading them. This product is great for kids who love those types of books and would get them interested in reading Bible stories. This Storybook Bible is for ages 8 and younger. The younger kids would be able to "read" the story by the pictures making it great for the younger generation who is beginning to read. Be aware that this Storybook Bible is more like reading a storybook and not a literal Bible translation. This Storybook Bible gives an overview of the whole story beginning in Genesis with creation and ending with Christ's return in Revelation. Each chapter ends with a section called Life, Faith, Action! This section gives the overall thought from the chapter that has been read, and ways your family can put into action what you've just learned.  Then there is also a chapter included at the end of the book that is a summary based on the entire Bible along with an index called a Hall of Fame Visual Index. This index is unique in that there are pictures from the pages throughout the Storybook Bible along with the Bible character's name and then a description. Overall, I think it's a fun product for kids and gets them to read more about God's big story being accomplished through the people of scripture. And like I said, I would treat this like a storybook rather than a literal Bible.
Don't forget to enter the Kindle Fire Giveaway by clicking on the graphic below. Contest ends on September 29th! And take some time to check out the blog tour by clicking here and find out what others had to say about this book.
 ***I received this free Bible from Lituse Publicity Group. I was not required to write a positive review. All opinions are my own.

About the authors:

Catherine has written more than twenty-five books for children, including the bestselling "Adventure Bible Storybook." As publisher of children's resources at David C Cook, she leads product development for The Action Bible® collection, which has sold more than a million copies. Catherine lives with her husband, their three children, and their big furry dog in the Colorado forest. ||**|| Brazilian-born Sergio Cariello has been an accomplished artist since childhood, drawing a regular comic strip for his city's newspaper at age 11. He spent many childhood hours poring over "The Picture Bible" (Portuguese edition), never dreaming he would illustrate an updated edition ("The Action Bible") decades later. Sergio has worked for Marvel Comics and DC comics and has illustrated Batman, Spiderman, Superman, Iron-Man, Wonder Woman, Fantastic-Four, and dozens more comic book characters.
Find out more about Catherine and at http://www.theactionbible.com. 
Giveaway Information: 
Discover your family's place in God's incredible story and together put your faith into action with the new The Action Storybook Bible from David C Cook! Explore God's redemptive story together with your children ages 8 and under in the 15 episodes highlighting key milestones in God's story. Master-artist Sergio Cariello created more than 350 brand-new illustrations to captivate your family and help you recognize how God is moving through each story. 
Join the adventure to begin to figure out where you fit into God's beautiful and exciting plan for the world by entering to win the Kindle Fire giveaway!

One grand prize winner will receive:
Enter today by clicking the icon below, but hurry! The giveaway ends on September 29. The winner will be announced October 2 on the Litfuse blog.

Monday, September 25, 2017

The Two of Us by Victoria Bylin

Sometimes our hurt motivates us to move in a totally different direction in order to escape the pain. But as each of these characters must see first hand in their own lives, only God can heal their hearts. Check out Victoria Bylin's newest novel, The Two of Us, below and find out more about Mia and Jake's story.

From the Back Cover:
After two broken engagements, Mia Robinson is done with dating. From now on, she's focusing on God and her goal to join an international aid organization as a nurse practitioner. But when her 18-year-old sister, Lucy, calls with an invitation to her Vegas wedding, it throws a wrench into Mia's plans.
Jake Tanner has recovered from the injuries he sustained as a police officer--on the outside. Inside, he's yet to heal from losing his partner in the tragedy, but finds some solace in keeping an eye on her young adult son, Sam, who's asked him to be best man at his wedding.
Mia expects a mess when she arrives to sort out the situation with Lucy, but she wasn't expecting Jake, who views the marriage a little differently. As Jake's and Mia's lives slowly become more intertwined, could his courage and her caring heart be enough to bring them a lifetime of healing?

My Thoughts:
I thought that this story was a fun, easy read. The author did a great job at keeping the story line moving. It was not hard to pick this book up whenever I had a free moment. I thought the characters were easy to relate to, and each character was well-developed. While this is one I wouldn't add to my shelves as a treasured favorite, I would recommend it as fun, light reading. So if contemporary fiction is your thing, make sure to check out Victoria Bylin's newest novel, The Two of Us.

My Rating: ★★★

***I received this free novel from Bethany House Publishers. I was not required to write a positive review. All opinions are my own.

Thursday, September 21, 2017

Brave Beauty: Finding the Fearless You (Faithgirlz) by Lynn Cowell

Do you remember that awkward stage going from little kid to teenager? It can be full of uncertainty as you are growing up. Lynn Cowell has written a 100 mini chapter devotional to help girls ages 8-12 think through all of the situations they are facing and to approach them in the light of their relationship with God.

From the Back Cover:
100 Courage-Building Ways to Find Your Confidence in God
What's Ahead? Where do I fit in? What am I good at?
Whether you put these concerns into words or struggles inside with these thoughts, it's normal to have questions like these on your heart. Proverbs 31 Ministries speaker Lynn Cowell offers 100 courage-building ways for readers to find answers by growing confident in God.

My Thoughts:
Brave Girls goes through many different topics for girls in that 8-12 year range. The topics vary from relationships with friends and family, to changes your body goes through with puberty. The first section deals with salvation which i think is a great place to start as these young girls begin to think through all that a relationship with Christ means for their lives. I was disappointed that the author didn't really go into more depth about our salvation in Christ. It seemed like she approached it from kids who grew up in the church hearing about Christ every Sunday. Sin wasn't really explained in any depth, and I would of liked to of seen more of a firm background as to why we even need a Savior in the first place. Besides this first part, the everyday practical things are addressed in a causal, conversational manner between author and reader. The reading is easy and kids could read through this book on their own. The author gives a general thought, some Scripture, a getting to know you or becoming brave section and then ends with a courageous call. Overall, I wasn't really thrilled with this book. It's okay, but I don't think I'll be passing it on to my daughter who is 9 years old. I would like something with a little more "meat" to it.

My Rating: ★★

***I received this free book from Handlebar. I was not required to write a positive review. All opinions are my own.

Monday, September 18, 2017

God Made the World by Debbie Rivers-Moore & Emma Haines

Do you have a friend or family member who is expecting an arrival of a new baby in the family? This sweet little cloth book is a great gift for a new baby. It is soft and great for babies who put everything into their mouths. The front page is very crinkly which infants love to hear and investigate. The story is simple and printed on colorful pages. The illustrations are cute, and I like the final page being a mirror. Babies love seeing the "other" baby in the reflection. If you're looking for a fun little gift for a baby, pick up this great cloth book. I think it would make a great addition to any present.

*** I received this free book from Kregel Publications. I was not required to write a positive review. All opinions are my own.

Friday, September 15, 2017

My Heart Belongs in the Shenandoah Valley by Andrea Boeshaar

Andrea Boeshaar has released a new novel set in the Shenandoah Valley in 1816.  My Heart Belongs in the Shenandoah Valley is an interesting story that is worth checking out.

From the Back Cover:
Captain McAlister "Mac" Albright has purchased land in the Shenandoah Valley. However, the land belongs to Lilyanna Laughlin--or so she erroneously thinks. Mac set her straight and despite a poor start, the two become friends...if only he were financially stable enough to offer her more.
When Lily's life is threatened and his whole future goes up in flames, Mac truly becomes a man without means, and Lily is forced to make the impossible choice between a loveless marriage with a man twice her age or the man who has shown her what true love could be. How can she choose between love and economic security? Her family is depending on her. Is her heart destined to break?
Journey into Virginia's Shenandoah Valley of 1816 where a woman's dreams and future happiness are on the line.

My Thoughts:
I thought that the author did a good job with the storyline, keeping it moving along and pulling in the reader. I always find the historical aspect of these stories interesting since it is so different from the time period we live in today. Andrea Boeshaar did a great job with painting a picture of a different time in history. I liked the interaction between the characters and how a young, naive woman learns that life is not always as it appears. I wished that the ending would of been a little longer and wrapped things up a little more than it did. It seemed to rushed at the end for me. That being said, the ending will not keep you hanging.

My Rating: ★★★★

***I received a complimentary copy of this book from Barbour Publishing and was under no obligation to post a review. All opinions are my own.

The Big Picture Interactive: Bible Story Coloring and Activity book by B&H Kids

The Big Picture Interactive has a lot of great products for different kid's Bibles and devotionals.  "The Big Picture Interactive has been creating products that focus on the big story, draw our attention to God, and point us to Jesus at every turn." (pg. 3) Along with that line of products, B&H Kids has also released a coloring and activity book. The Bible Story Coloring & Activity Book is a great resource as you are reading through your Big Picture Interactive Bible. The coloring book begins with the Old Testament and creation, and proceeds through the main stories of the Old Testament. Then also covers the New Testament too. There are not only coloring pages but also word searches, matching, hidden pictures, mazes, secret codes, hidden messages, color by number and more. This coloring book would be great for kids ages 4-8 years old.
I like how the stories tie-in to the Big Picture Interactive Bible to reinforce the story your teaching. And I like how they have included lots of fun activities to keep the kids engaged with learning. This is a great resource that would make a fun gift for your kids.

You can find this book online by clicking here.

My Rating: ★★★★

***I received this free book from B&H Kids. I was not required to write a positive review. All opinions are my own.

Saturday, September 9, 2017

Praying for Girls by Teri Lynne Underwood

Every mom wants the best for her children. Life is challenging, and we wonder how our kids will handle life as they are growing up in this world. Will they move closer to God or will they turn away? As a mom of a young girl who is a year away from middle school, I wonder how my prayer life could be better in praying for her. Teri Lynne Underwood has written a book called Praying for Girls that is a resource for parents in their prayer life as they pray for their daughters. As our world continues to grow darker, our life should be more and more filled with prayer. Teri covers 5 different areas of prayer for her daughter that she has focused on, and each of these 5 main topics covers 4 different character traits.

1. Prayers for Her Identity--Image-Bearer, Loved, Known, Accepted
2. Prayers for Her Heart--Pure, Kept, Content, Undivided
3. Prayers for Her Mind--Stayed, Renewed, Guarded, Peaceful
4. Prayers for Her Relationships--Humility, Wisdom, Generosity, Love
5. Prayers for Her Purpose--Salvation, Sanctification, Steadfast, Share

Each chapter begins with a verse and discusses the character trait. Teri then gives several examples of prayers that parents can pray for their daughter based on Scripture. For example: "Lord, may ___________ know her identity is found in You and rest in the knowledge she is made in Your image. (Genesis 1:27)"  She then has a paragraph called just for moms and finally in her girl talk section gives ways a parent can discuss the trait with their child whether a little girl, a "middle" girl or an older girl.
I think the book is a good resource in helping parents with their prayer life for their daughters. I appreciated that her prayer examples are directly related to Scripture. And I liked what she had to say at the end of the book about prayer.

           "Of all the lessons I've learned, this one stands out: Prayer changes me. Every time. When I     pray for her to love the Lord, He shows me how to love Him more. When I pray for her to have a pure heart, He reveals the areas I need to confess. When I pray for her to have a renewed mind, He gives me a new focus and passion for Him. When I pray for her to be loving in her relationships, He helps me learn to love others better. And when I pray for her to walk in the purpose He has for her, He points me toward the purpose He has for me as well."

Prayer is never a waste of time. It is not only a way we can take all of our heavy concerns about our children to our Father, but it also changes us. If you're looking for some direction in how to pray better for your daughter, pick up Teri's book, Praying for Girls, a great resource and addition to your home library.

My Rating: ★★★

**I received this free book from Bethany House Publishers. I was not required to write a positive review. All opinions are my own.

The Legacy by Michael Phillips (Secrets of the Shetlands book 3)

If you have been following along in the Secret of the Shetland series by Michael Phillips, then you'll be excited to know that the third and final book in the series has been released. The Legacy is the book to wrap up all these loose ends and bring this Shetland Island story to an end.

From the Back Cover:
Loni Ford's unexpected inheritance of substantial real estate--not to mention a title--in the Shetland Islands has caused more than a stir in the quiet fishing hamlet of Whales Reef. How can life ever be the same with an outsider--and a woman at that--playing such a pivotal role in the life of this traditional community? But it isn't just the locals who have deep misgivings about the current situation. Loni herself never imagined this in her wildest dreams and wonders whether she's cut out for it.
Loni would hardly let herself acknowledge that she's falling in love--with Whales Reef, with its hardy people, and with local chieftain David Tulloch, whose inheritance she has usurped, at least in the eyes of some. Or has she merely been seduced by the simple, peaceful way of life that exists here?
Yet life in Whales Reef is rarely without drama. Deep rifts exist between certain lifelong neighbors, and when a dead body is discovered, suspicion is cast in the direction of the Tulloch family. How Loni and David face up to this challenge will profoundly shape their relationship, as well as the future of the island.

My Thoughts:
This book is another long one, 466 pages in length.  Unlike the first two books, this book does not have a lot of action in the story to make it fast-paced.  It was a little harder for me to get through it, but the story did help to tie up many of the questions the first two books bring to light in Loni's past. Michael Phillips brings in a lot of the Quaker's ideologies and he also includes his favorite author George MacDonald too. I thought it was fun how he brought in some familiar references from another of his series, The Secret of the Rose. Overall, I thought that this book was more just factual in telling their stories and really didn't draw me in to the story like the first two. But I did like how the author wrapped things up, and gave the reader the hidden story from the past.

You can check out my review for the first two books of this series by clicking on these titles, The Inheritance (Book 1) and The Cottage (book 2).

My Rating: ★★★

**I received this complimentary book from Bethany House Publishers. I was not required to write a positive review. All opinions are my own.

Thursday, August 31, 2017

Get Out of That Pit by Beth Moore

Have you ever had that feeling of being stuck in life? Maybe it's a pit you've thrown yourself into willingly because you really wanted something you knew was not best. Or maybe it's a pit that you just slipped into unsuspectingly or it's a pit that you have been literally thrown into by someone else. All of us have been through some kind of pit in our lives and many of us are still living in one. Beth Moore has written a book about the pits we tend to fall into and gives advice on how to get out of the pits we find ourselves in.

I thought that the book had a lot of good information that can help many who are stuck in different pits. I appreciated the study guide in the back of the book too. It had questions from the chapter that was read, but also personal application questions too. The verse that Beth's book is based on is Ps. 40:1-3--"I waited patiently for the LORD; he turned to me and heard my cry. He lifted me out of the slimy pit, out of the mud and mire; he set my feet on a rock and gave me a firm place to stand. He put a new song in my mouth, a hymn of praise to our God. Many will see and fear and put their trust in the LORD." Beth describes a pit as "an early grave that Satan digs for you in hopes he can bury you alive." How do we know when we're in a pit?  You know you're in a pit when... you feel stuck, can't stand up and have lost your vision. If you've been through tragedy that's thrown you in a deep pit or find yourself in a circumstance that is headed in the wrong direction and you can't see a way out, pick up Beth's book and find some hope in Scripture.  God can rescue you from your pit.

My Rating: ★★★

***I received this complimentary book from Handlebar Publishing. I was not required to write a positive review. All opinions are my own.

Sunday, August 27, 2017

God's Crime Scene for Kids' Mystery Investigation Kit Giveaway

J. Warner Wallace (a cold-case detective and former atheist) has come out with another great detective book for kids. This book revolves around a mysterious shoebox in Jason's Grandmother's attic in which there is a letter address to him! He and his friends must use their detective skills to solve the mystery.  At the same time, Detective Jeffries uses the opportunity to show the kids in his Jr. Detective Academy how they can also use their detective skills concerning the universe around them.  And how everything points to a grand Creator.

I thought this book was a fun way to get kids to think about the evidence that God has given us of Himself in His creation all around us. This book helps them to take the different thinking skills they have learned through the fictional story and apply them to their real life surroundings. I like books that encourage critical thinking. If you're looking for a fun book for your child ages 8-12 yrs old, pick up this fun book that will get them thinking about how they can see evidence for God all around them. Below is the link for a giveaway contest for a Mystery Investigation Kit.  So make sure to enter soon.  The contest ends on August 31st. Also, head over to the blog tour for this book and see what others are saying about God's Crime Scene for Kids by clicking here.

My Rating: ★★★★★

About the authors:

J. Warner and Susie Wallace have been training young people in the church setting for over a decade. J. Warner is a cold-case homicide detective who has been featured on Dateline, FOX News, Court TV and other crime-related television shows. A former atheist, he is the author of "Cold-Case Christianity: God's Crime Scene," "Forensic Faith," and "Cold-Case Christianity for Kids." He has a master's degree in theology and is the founder of ColdCaseChristianity.com. Susie has a master's degree in speech pathology and co-writes (and edits) all the kids books in this series. J. Warner and Susie have four children and live in southern California.
Find out more about J. Warner and at http://www.coldcasechristianityforkids.com.

*** I received this complimentary book from Litfuse Publicity Group. I was not required to write a positive review. All opinions are my own.



Giveaway Info:

Join your children in learning how to determine the most reasonable cause for everything we see in creation with a real-life detective! In God's Crime Scene for Kids, J. Warner Wallace shows kids ages 8 to 12 what skills are needed to solve Jason's mystery. Jason uncovers a mystery in his grandmother's attic. He and his friends, Hannah, Daniel and Jasmine, enlist the help of Detective Jeffries at the Jr. Detective's Academy. Your kids will look at evidence in the universe that demonstrates God is the creator and ultimately learn how to make their own case for God's existence.

Help your kids become detectives who investigate creation for signs of God and His creativity by entering to win the Mystery Investigation Kit!

One grand prize winner will receive:
Enter today by clicking the icon below, but hurry! The giveaway ends on August 31. The winner will be announced September 1 on the Litfuse blog.

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Super Hero Kids Giveaway with David C Cook!


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


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.


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.

Friday, August 18, 2017

A Name Unknow by Roseanna M. White

Roseanna M. White has released a new series called Shadows Over England. Her first book, A Name Unknown, is about a young woman named Rosemary Gresham whose certain set of skills has landed her a job that will provide a lot of needed money for her and those she cares for. Rosemary has learned the art of pickpocketing since she was small and her talent has led her to larger items of greater value. When the mysterious Mr. V asks her to spy on a man named Peter Holstein, she is lured by the amount of  money he offers to find out who Peter loyal to--England or Germany.

This is a great story. I loved how the story is weaved together pulling you into the mystery at hand. It will have you guessing along the way as to who the villains is, what is the real story behind Peter Holstein and what will Rosemary uncover about him. Mystery and romance is a great combination in a historical novel and the author has done a wonderful job in crafting her story. Make sure to pick up this first book of her new series. This novel is a great one to add to your library.

You can read more of what others thought of this book by clicking here to go to the blog tour page.

My Rating: ★★★★★

**I received this complimentary from Litfuse Publicity. I was not required to write a positive review. All opinions are my own. 

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

The Captivating Lady Charlotte by Carolyn Miller

The Captivating Lady Charlotte** is the second book in the Regency Brides: A Legacy of Grace series.  This book is for readers who enjoy the regency era and a good, clean, romantic story.

From the Back Cover:
All She wants is to marry for love. And as the belle of the season, Lady Charlotte Featherington should have her choice of suitors. But even this captivating lady must obey her noble papa's wishes--and the marquess has determined that his daughter will wed a widowed duke, not a dashing lord.
All the ninth Duke of Harington wants is for the lady who has captured his heart to love him in return, despite their arranged marriage. But the betrayal of his first wife and the scandal she dragged him into make it nearly impossible for William to believe a woman's heart can ever be trusted.
Now this wounded widower and the romantically inclined young lady must find a way to negotiate a future together and learn the real meaning of both trust and love. Can the legacy of grace help them to find healing and hope?

My Thoughts:
I enjoyed reading about the story of Lady Charlotte. I'm always glad when I can find a romance novel that is clean and wholesome. It was fun to watch Lady Charlotte grow in her character. With being so young, she had much to learn about the real world she had been sheltered from. I also appreciate a good mystery and this book didn't disappoint in that aspect. It added to the overall theme of trust and love that the author was trying to communicate throughout the novel.
The first book in this series, The Elusive Miss Ellison**was released earlier this year in February, and her third book in the series, The Dishonorable Miss Delancey**, will be released this fall on October 24th. As far as needing to read the books in order, there was enough in the novel that I could tell there was a whole story I missed with not reading the first book.  But on the other hand, it did not hinder me from enjoying the story of Lady Charlotte. This was the first book I have read by the author, and I would definitely pick up another of Carolyn's novels.

Visit the Author site by clicking here to find out more about her books.

My Rating: ★★★

*I received this complimentary book from Kregel Publications.  I was not required to write a positive review. All opinions are my own.

**I am a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for me to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites. 

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

You Are Free by Rebekah Lyons

This was my first exposure to Rebekah Lyons' books.  This is the second book she has written.  The first was Freefall to Fly. These books have also been made into Bible studies guides to help apply the ideas within the books. You are Free not only has a study guide, but also has videos to watch with it. Since I had recently done the study guide and videos online for this book through faithgateway.com's free online bible studies, I decided to read the book too.
The study had some good things to say, but I am concerned that others may think that their depression or anxiety needs a "grand experience of healing" in order to be free from it.  Or that they just aren't doing things right if they continue to struggle with depression. Experience can be misleading and God doesn't work the same way in each of us. Another thing that concerned me as I read the book, was chapter 5--Free to Thirst.  In this chapter she describes a dream in which she has a clear random phrase as if God was directly speaking to her and the phrase sounded biblical. She then proceeds to back up her dream phrase with different passages from Scripture.  In chapter 6--Free to Ask, she feels led to ask for the gift of healing. From my study of Scripture, I find these things disturbing.  So while she has some good things to say in sections of the book, I cannot endorse this book at all or recommend it.

My Rating:★

***I received this complimentary book from BookLook Bloggers. I was not required to write a positive review. All opinions are my own.

Sunday, July 30, 2017

A Matter of Trust by Susan May Warren (Book #3, Montana Rescue series)

The next great adventure in the Montana Rescue series by Susan May Warren is out! A Matter of Trust (Montana Rescue) tells the story of Gage Watson, an EMT on the PEAK Rescue team.

Gage is an amazing snowboarding champion, but has gone into hiding after a horrible mistake in the past that costed someone their life.  He's come to Montana trying to re-carve a life for himself, but the past is hard to ignore. When Ella Blair shows up after not seeing her for 3 years, Gage doesn't know how to handle seeing the woman who ruined his life. As the past seems to be catching up with him, Gage must make a choice to face it head on or run again into hiding.

This story was great! I stayed up and finished this book in a little over a day. Needless to say, it is so good you will have a hard time putting this story down! Gage and Ella's story is filled with adventure, danger, and heroism. Their characters are fun to read about, and I loved reading about the thrill of snowboarding. I haven't been on a snowboard, but I have been skiing. The thrill of flying down a hill or doing moguls is definitely exciting, and I'm glad that the author added this fun sport to the story.  Of course, this story also fills you in on some of the mystery surrounding Ian Shaw's missing niece. I like how there is the running mystery throughout the series that hooks the books together. Book 3 is just as good as the other books, maybe even better.
If you're looking for a new series to pick up, grab the Montana Rescue series and be ready to fly through some great reading.

My Rating:

***I received this complimentary book from Revell Publishing.  I was not required to write a positive review.  All opinions are my own.

 ***I am a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for me to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.

Friday, July 28, 2017

High As the Heavens by Kate Breslin

For those who love WWI historical stories, this is another great book to add to your library! I have enjoyed reading Kate Breslin's first two books, Not by Sight and For Such a Time, and was excited to get her third book, High as the Heavens.

From the Back Cover:
A British nurse in WWI German-occupied Brussels, Evelyn Marche spends her days at the hospital and her nights working at a cafe... or so it seems. Eve's most carefully guarded secret is that she also spends her nights carrying out dangerous missions as a spy for a Belgian resistance group.
When a plane crashes as she's en route to a rendezvous, Eve is the first to reach the downed plane and is shocked to recognize the badly injured pilot as British RFC Captain Simon Forrester. She risks her life to conceal him from the Germans, but as the secrets between them grow and the danger mounts, can they still hope to make it out of Belgium alive?

My Thoughts:
I enjoyed reading this story and had a hard time putting it down.  Kate does a great job with developing the character's depth throughout the story and crafts an interesting plot line that will keep you up until the wee-hours of the morning.  The suspense throughout the story and surprise return of characters keep the story moving. I loved how she kept me guessing about who the real threat was to the Belgian resistance group all the way up to the end.  It's refreshing to find a good historical book that teaches you history along with a great story.  If you're looking for a fun new historical book, pick up High as the Heavens.

Take some time to visit this link and read a fun interview with the author!

My Rating:  ★★★★★

***I received this complimentary book from Bethany House Publishers.  I was not required to write a positive review.  All opinions are my own.

***I am a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for me to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.

Monday, June 26, 2017

Israel-God's Heart: Landscapes and Legacy of Israel by Ron Gafni and Kathleen Barrett

Often many people have some fabulous photography books on their coffee table for people to browse. Let me show you another great addition to those coffee table books that is not your traditional photography book.  Israel-God's Heart: Landscapes and Legacy of Israel is filled with beautiful landscape pictures of the Holy Land. The author describes it as "A captivating pictorial of the Holy Land and a scriptural journey through God's redemption story."

In this book, you will find many of the familiar places you've read about in Scripture. This book includes more than just pictures. You can also read the Scripture and facts that tell you about the places that have been photographed. How many of us wish we could travel overseas and see the Holy Land for ourselves? Since many of us will not have that opportunity, here is a wonderful glimpse that you can take in with your own eyes and see how beautiful the Holy Land really is. I thought this book was well done and just loved looking through the pictures. So, check out this beautiful book and add this to your coffee table collection so that others can see the beauty of Israel for themselves.

***I received this complimentary book from Litfuse Publicity Group.  I was not required to write a positive review.  All opinions are my own.

Thursday, June 22, 2017

True to You by Becky Wade

A fun new series is out about 3 sisters called A Bradford Sisters Romance.  The first book, True to You, is about Nora Bradford who is too busy with being a genealogist and operating her historical village to worry about starting a relationship.  She has sworn off men since being hurt three years ago by a man she thought loved her.  The other main character of the book, John Lawson, is a former Navy SEAL who has many questions about his past.  When an inherited medical condition takes him by surprise, he realizes that he must find out anything he can about who he inherited this condition from.  The only problem is he doesn't know his past because he was adopted.
Through a chance encounter, John meets Nora and finds out about her expertise as a genealogist.

This story was fun to read.  It made me smile at various times with their humorous banter and crazy situations. The characters each grow and change throughout the story. I appreciated the way the author brought in biblical concepts that changed the character's thinking. When facing situations that they thought they could control, the characters realized that ultimately only God can satisfy and lead them in the right way.  They needed to trust Him. The story is a great encouragement and shows that when life isn't going as you expected, God is still the One you can trust with everything. I'm looking forward to the rest of the series and reading about Nora's sisters, Britt and Willow. Also, there is a prequel to this series called Then Came You which you can find as a free e-book or purchase a paperback copy. Find it all the online links on Becky Wade's site by clicking here.

My Rating: ★★★★

***I received this complimentary book from Bethany House Publishers.  I was not required to write a positive review.  All opinions are my own.

Monday, June 5, 2017

Hello Stars by Alena Pitts with Wynter Pitts

A fun new series is out for young girls (ages 8-12/ Grades 3-7) called Lena in the Spotlight. The first book in the series is Hello Stars  and is about a young 12 year old girl named Lena Daniels and her best friends, Savannah and Emma.
When Lena learns about a contest to meet her favorite singer, she jumps at the chance to enter. She hopes that her dream can come true, but will winning this chance of a lifetime opportunity be all that she hoped it would be?

My Thoughts:
I thought that the book was enjoyable to read. The character of the story showed how even young kids can take all their cares to their heavenly Father no matter how big or small. I'm always on the hunt to find good, wholesome books for my tween to read.  And this will be a great series for her!

Check out Alena's website: http://www.alenapitts.com/

My Rating: ★★★

***I received this complimentary book from Handlebar.  I was not required to write a positive review.  All opinions are my own.

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

The Big Picture Interactive Bible (CSB) by B & H Kids

Are you considering buying a new Bible for your child or giving one as a gift? B&H Kids has come out with an updated Bible version for The Big Picture Interactive Bible.  This updated version is called the Christian Standard Bible, an updated version of the Holman Christian Standard Bible. The goal of this version is to combine a literal translation with easy readability. This Bible includes many different special features.  They are as follows:
* Interactive Full-Page Color Illustrations with Digital Pop-Up
* Introductions for Every Book of the Bible
* Christ Connections
* 100 Verse to Remember
* Big-Words Dictionary
* Big Questions and Answers
* "Seeing the Big Picture" Feature
* CBS Text

This Bible is full of color and the full page illustrations are sure to draw your child's attention.  I appreciate that they have Christ Connections from Genesis to Revelation to help your child realize that the whole Bible points to Jesus. The app is a fun interactive tool, but does have some limitations. The app is a free download, but does use 1.1 GB of your memory. Using the app is pretty self-explanatory, but you do have to hold your device directly over the page in order to hear the story being read. If you move away from the Bible, the story will stop and you'll have to start the story over again from the beginning. This could prove frustrating for kids. This Bible version is readable, and I like that there is a section on the page you are reading to explain bigger words used in the text. This Bible would make a great gift for kids ages 8-12 years old, and would promote them reading Scripture on their own.

My Rating: ★★★★

***I received this Bible for free from the publisher.  I was not required to write a positive review.  All opinions are my own.

Saturday, May 20, 2017

Answers to Prayer by George Muller (Read and Reflect with the Classics Series)

This is one of those books that needs to be in your home library! Answers to Prayer is a compilation of journal entries by George Muller that gives the reader a glimpse into the life he lived by walking in faith day by day. This book is part of the Read and Reflect series by B&H Publishing Group that combines great classic literature with Bible study suggestions and thought provoking questions.

Who was George Muller?
From the Back Cover: George Muller was an English Christian Evangelist in the nineteenth century. He devoted his life to directing the Ashley Down orphanage in Bristol, England. In his lifetime he cared for more than 10,000 orphans. This alone is a great feat of faith, but what makes him a pillar of prayer in Christian history is that he never once requested financial support for the orphanage, nor did he ever go into debt. He prayed for what was needed, and God provided--many times hours before funds or provisions were needed. His story and journals stand as the picture of God's faithfulness.

My Thoughts:
I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book.  George Muller left a legacy that was meant to encourage all of those in his present age and in years to come. And truly his story is one that encourages us still today. George Muller's first thought when facing anything in life was to bring it in prayer before the God he trusted with everything. This thinking was as natural to him as breathing air. I love his perspective on life. How he views everything as God's purpose and plan even down to the tiniest detail. What a testimony not only to the believing, but also to the world of what God can do when we have a different perspective on life, a heavenly perspective.
If you want to read a book that will encourage your faith, pick up this classic, Answers to Prayer. These stories will not only encourage you, but will also direct your gaze upward to the One whom they glorify.

My Rating:

Other books in this series are: 
The Christian's Secret to A Happy Life by Hannah Whitall Smith
Humility by Andrew Murray
The Pilgrim's Progress by John Bunyan
All of Grace by Charles Spurgeon
The Imitation of Christ by Thoma a Kempis
Absolute Surrender by Andrew Murray
(These books are available in hardback or e-book.)

***I received this free book from B&H Publishing Group. I was not required to give a positive review. All opinions are my own.

Monday, May 15, 2017

Behind the Scenes by Jen Turano

Do you enjoy fun stories with the main heroine having a personality all their own? Then you will want to pick up Jen Turano's newest book Behind the Scenes.  This is the first book in Jen's new Apart From the Crowd series.

In Behind the Scenes, Miss Permilia Griswold has been cast aside as a wallflower at the society events during the social season.  But she really doesn't mind since she doesn't care to become a part of the fashionable set. When an opportunity comes to use her anonymity at these fashionable events, she jumps at the chance. Her job is to write a column for the New York Sun and detail events that the public would love to know about that happen behind the closed doors of society. In order to maintain her cover, she writes under the assumed name of "Miss Quill."  Of course this creates quite the stir in society, and if anyone where to find out, she would certainly be cast out of society and possibly bring her family to ruin.   But when Permilia overhears a murder plot to harm Mr. Asher Rutherford, a local department store owner,  she is determined to intervene and notify him of the danger that lurks ahead.

Jen's books have a way of making me smile as I read them.  The main characters in her books have such a quirky personality that lead to some hilarious scenes.  And it really doesn't take much imagination to envision these scenes since Jen's use of words paints a clear picture of the comical situation the characters have found themselves in. This book is just fun to read and I would definitely recommend it to pick up for your summer reading.  I was hooked after the first few pages and had a hard time putting the book down.  Be sure to watch for the next book in this series, Out of the Ordinary, coming out November 2017.

My Rating: ★★★★

***I received this free book from Bethany House Publishers.  I was not required to write a positive review.  All opinions are my own.

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

The 10 Commandments of Marriage by Ed Young

Marriage is one of those topics where you are continually learning how to make things better for your relationship. Since we are imperfect people, we need frequent reminders to help us along the way.  In Ed Young's book, the 10 Commandments of Marriage, he shares 10 ways to help a marriage be better.

What are those 10 commandments?
1. Thou Shalt Be Selfless
2. Thou Shalt Have No Strings Attached
3. Thou Shalt Continually Communicate
4. Thou Shalt Make Conflict Thy Ally
5. Thou Shalt Avoid the Quicksand of Materialism
6. Thou Shalt Flee Sexual Temptation--Online and Otherwise
7. Thou Shalt Forgive Thy Mate--490 Times and More
8. Thou Shalt Romance the Home
9. Thou Shalt Begin Again and Again
10. Thou Shalt Build a Winning Team

I thought that the book was well written and addressed many of the areas that marriages are vulnerable to attack by satan and our present culture.  Many of the concepts are ones that I had already been taught, but some of the topics were just good to be reminded again of a having proper focus in marriage.  I think that the book would be useful especially for engaged and newlywed couples.  The first chapter and later chapters seemed more relevant to those who have been married for a while. If you're looking for a book to refresh your perspective in your marriage, then pick up the 10 Commandments in Marriage.

My Rating: ★★★

***I received this book free from Moody Publishers.  I was not required to write a positive review.  All opinions are my own.

Monday, May 8, 2017

Too Deep for Words by Andrea Boeshaar

     Do you enjoy novels set during the time of the Civil War?  Andrea Boeshaar has a new series called, Shenandoah Valley Saga, and the second book in this series, Too Deep for Words, has just been released.  This story begins with Carrie Ann Bell and Colonel Peyton Collier being recently married. With war raging all around them, Carrie knows that Peyton life is in God's hands.  When Peyton comes up missing after a battle, Carrie refuses to believe that he is really dead since they haven't found his body.  Everyone tells her to accept the truth, but she just can't let go of this feeling that he is still alive.  Carrie is willing to go to dangerous lengths to find out if her instincts are right, but what will she find? Peyton or a broken heart?

I thought this was an interesting story to follow up the first novel. The author does keep you guessing all throughout the book as to what has happened to Colonel Peyton Collier.  I appreciated all the research Andrea Boeshaar put into writing this novel.  The story transports the reader to another time and gives them a glimpse of our nation's past history.  This was one of those books that was hard to put down especially not knowing how things would end, and it had me racing to the end. The way this book ended definitely leads to another book, and I'm looking forward to reading the third book in this series, There is a Season, which will be released in 2018.  If you're looking for a fun historical series to start, pick up this new series by Andrea Boeshaar. These books are fun and captivating.

You can read my review of this first book in this series, One Thousand Shall Fall, by clicking here.

***I received this free book from Kregel Publications.  I was not required to write a positive review.  All opinions are my own.

Friday, April 28, 2017

Think Again By Jared Mellinger

Do you have a tendency to over-analyze everything you do?  Do you continually use introspection trying to figure out how you can do things better or be a better Christian? If you suffer from thinking too much about everything you do in life, then this book will be a good read for you!  Jared Mellinger's new book, Think Again, will challenge how you see yourself and the dangers of thinking too much about yourself.

About the book: 

Evaluating yourself-being mindful of who you are and what you are doing-is necessary and can lead to positive change.
But what about the dark side of introspection? Do you ever feel weighed down and exhausted by your own self-analysis? Perhaps you made a mistake, said a careless word, or even messed up big time. Your self-examination spirals into a full-blown cross-examination. You keep revisiting what happened. Your mind circles around the event, fruitlessly trying to somehow make the outcome different so you don't feel the embarrassment, shame, and regret.
The modern self-esteem movement has left us empty and self-focused. We exhaust our healthy introspection and pervert it into constant self-evaluation, wrong views of ourselves, self-accusation, and false guilt. Introspection was never meant to bear such weight.
Think Again offers real relief from the burden of introspection that so many of us carry each day. Pastor Jared Mellinger, who tends to overdose on self-analysis himself, shows us how the hope of the gospel can rescue us from the bad fruit of unsound introspection. Mellinger's short, story-filled chapters help readers identify and turn away from unhealthy introspection.
There is an outward-focused God who delights to rescue an inward-focused people and lead them into a better way to live. When we truly understand it, we'll see that the gospel actually sets us free from thinking about ourselves too much. We can seek after and pray for the peace and joy-the sanity-that comes from thinking about ourselves less often. 

Think Again includes practical instructions for self-examination, fighting false guilt, breaking free from hyper-introspection, and more. Ultimately, Think Again demonstrates that the solution to thinking too much about ourselves is to look to Christ, and it gives readers the tools to begin to turn from the mirror.
My Review:
I appreciated how the author could identify with the issue of introspection.  And I thought he did a good job of getting the reader to identify this issue in their lives.  The author doesn't just stop there with the identification of the problem, but points the reader to the answer which is Christ.  I struggle with introspection and it's easy to over-analyze every situation of my life to exhaustion. This introspection only produces insecurity and fear in my life which is far from my actual goal. This book was a great reminder of what I already know, quit focusing on yourself and get your eyes upward on Christ and outward on serving others.  Sometimes we just need to be reminded of what we already know.
I will say that at about chapter 8 or so, I was thinking, "hmmm... I thought I already read this." So I would say that some of the material is rather repetitive.  Other than that, it was a good read that will remind you of where your focus should really be.

If you'd like to read other reviews of this book, you can click here to see the blog tour page.

***I received this free book from Litfuse Publicity Group. I was not required to write a positive review.  All opinions are my own.

About the author:
Jared Mellinger joined the Covenant Fellowship Church pastoral team in 2006, upon graduating from Pastors College of Sovereign Grace Churches. He became senior pastor in 2008. Jared graduated from Kutztown University in 2001 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Art Education. He enjoys reading, rollerblading, poetry, drinking coffee, building fires, and listening to Josh Garrels. Jared is the author of Think Again: Relief from the Burden of Introspection. He resides in Glen Mills, PA with his wife Meghan and their six children.

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