Friday, June 9, 2017

The Runaway by Claire Wong (Book Review!)

The Runaway
by Claire Wong
(received in exchange for an honest review)
The Runaway
Genre- Fiction
Published by- Lion Fiction
Copyrighted- 2017
Number of pages- 304
Age Group- Adult
Description of book- paperback, listed price- $14.99, ISBN 978-1-78264-242-8

Rhiannon has decided to runaway to the Dyrys Woods near her Welsh village of Llandymna.  Shortly before she turns eighteen she leaves to make a new life.  Her aunt and the other villages wonder where she has gone.  They spend a lot of time lookin in the woods trying to find her, but they are unable to.  Rhiannon doesn’t like living alone, but she thinks of the stories that the village storyteller, Maebh, has told her and the other villagers for years.

While Rhiannon is away the village begins to unweave as Rhiannon’s disappearance causes tension to build and secrets begin to surface.  Who are the two strangers?  Why are the villagers so hard on each other?  How will they find Rhiannon?    

About the Author-

Claire Wong currently lives in Yorkshire where she shares inspiring stories through articles, press releases, and newsletters at her job in charity communications.  This is her first novel.

My thoughts-

I enjoyed reading The Runaway.  I could feel Claire Wong’s storytelling ability.  I was drawn into Rhiannon’s story and then that of the villagers.  I liked how Wong made ordinary lives seem extraodinary.  I could feel the power of Maebh’s storytelling and the daily and long time struggles of the people of the village.  It was like I was there and I could feel the magic.  There wasn’t any, but I could certainly feel it. 

This book wouldn’t have been the same if the point-of-view hadn’t changed back and forth between that of Rhiannon and the village.  It wouldn’t have had the depth and range that it did.  I was able to learn about, appreciate, and learn from all of the characters.

The end of the book had study questions and a short interview by Wong.  I learned that she likes some of the same books I do, like The Princess Bride and Winnie-the-Pooh.

I recommend reading this book.  I’m looking forward to reading more books by Wong.

Disclosure of Material Connection- I received The Runaway, by Claire Wong, for free from the Kregel Publications’ Blog Tour.  All links were current when posted.  I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own or those of my family.  I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.

Friday, June 2, 2017

Questioning Evangelism by Randy Newman (Book Review!)

Questioning Evangelism
Engaging People’s Hearts the Way Jesus Did
by Randy Newman
(received in exchange for an honest review)
Questioning Evangelism Randy Newman
Genre- Nonfiction / Religion / Christian Ministry / Evangelism
Published by- Kregel Publications
Copyrighted- 2017
Number of pages- 270
Age Group- Adult
Description of book- paperback, listed price- $17.99, ISBN 978-0-8254-4428-9

Randy Newman has written a book about evangelism that follows the way Jesus talked with others.  Jesus didn’t force His opinions on others, He answered their questions with questions of His own.  That is what this second edition is all about, how we can do the same as He did. 

This book includes a new preface, study questions, numerous Bible verses, and different scenarios to help you become more comfortable with evangelism.     

About the Author-

Randy Newman has been a conference speaker and helps people discuss different faith issues.  He worked for over with Campus Crusade for Christ.  He is currently at The C. S. Lewis Institute as a senior teaching fellow for evangelism and apologetics.

My thoughts-

Part One of this book was hard for me to get into.  I could tell that Randy Newman put a lot of time and effort into writing, but I could have used more personal stories to make some of the chapters more memorable.

There were many parts that really equipped me to evangelize to certain people groups.  I previously had determined that I should be kind and always loving, but because of some scripted conversations and Bible verses I have a better idea about how to direct the conversation.  The study questions at the end of the book helped me discover more answers to questions that I or others could have. 

This book has helped begin to develop a new positive way to approach others when dealing with Christianity.  I hope you find this to be a good for you.     

Disclosure of Material Connection- I received Questioning Evangelism, by Randy Newman, for free from the Kregel Publications’ Blog Tour.  All links were current when posted.  I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own or those of my family.  I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.

Friday, May 19, 2017

Transformed by Christy Wimber (Book Review!)

Transformed
by Christy Wimber
(received in exchange for an honest review)
Transformed by Christy Wimber
Genre- Nonfiction / Christian
Published by- Monarch Books
Copyrighted- 2017
Number of pages- 224
Age Group- Adult
Description of book- paperback, listed price- $16.99, ISBN 978-0-85721-812-4

As humans we are to yield daily to God.  He has the power to renew and transform us.

This book is based around Romans 12:1-8.  Each chapter begins with a quote or Bible verse that’s relevant to the chapter.  The chapters focus on subjects such as always worshipping, renewing our minds, and what grace means in this century.

About the Author-

Christy Wimber had her husband currently live in California and have two children.  She is a pastor, author, and speaker.  In 2006 she planted a Vineyard Church.  She travels around the world teaching and equipping the Church.

My thoughts-

I felt encouraged as I read Transformed.  The chapter I liked the best dealt with what grace looks like in this century. Christy Wimber did a good job of tying biblical ideas into what happens in our world today. 

There are some thing that I would like to see added to this book

  • I would like to see each chapter have a summary.  When a book is nonfiction, chapter summaries help me remember the chapter better.
  • Discussion questions for each chapter would be fun and helpful too.  The questions would make this book good for group study.

This is a book that will be relevant for many years to come.  I highly recommend it to those in high school and also adults. 

Disclosure of Material Connection- I received Transformed, by Christy Wimber, for free from the Kregel Publications’ Blog Tour.  All links were current when posted.  I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own or those of my family.  I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.

Friday, May 12, 2017

Too Deep for Words by Andrea Boeshaar (Book Review)

Too Deep for Words
(Book 2 of Shenandoah Valley Saga)
by Andrea Boeshaar
(received in exchange for an honest review)
Too Deep for Words
Genre- Fiction / Christian / Romance
Published by- Kregel Publications
Copyrighted- 2017
Number of pages- 299
Age Group- Adult
Description of book- paperback, listed price- $14.99, ISBN 978-0-8254-4419-7

Carrie Ann Collier has been happily married to her husband, Peyton for nineteen days when he goes missing in a battle.  She’s determine that he’s still alive, but the rest of the family thinks he died in the battle. 

Not only does Carrie have to find a way to cope with her husband missing, but her sister who she never got along with is now living at the house with her and Aunt Ruth.  The situation becomes even more complicated when an injured Elijah Kent arrives.  He’s Peyton’s best friend and a Confederate.

Will Carrie be able to get along with a sister she’s never been able to?  Will Elijah believe her that her husband is still alive?  

About the Author-

Andrea Boeshaar has written thirty published works.  She is a cofounder of American Christian Fiction Writers.  Her website is www.andreaboesharr.com.

My thoughts-

When I was in high school I was really interested in the Civil War, so I enjoyed Andrea Boeshaar’s attention to historical detail.  Some of the best parts of the book was the “Author’s Note” at the beginning of the book and the quotes taken from various Civil War documents.  I appreciate learning about the historical context behind the book.

As with A Thousand Shall Fall, I thought that the characters were authentic and memorable.  The addition of Margaret, Carrie’s sister, showed me a more authentic view of Carrie.  Carrie certainly had some growing to do when it came to accepting her.

It would have been nice if there had been more about Peyton.  I’m interested in learning where he had been and what he had been doing while Carrie was trying to find him.  As each chapter began I hoped that it would have something about him.

Since the first book came from the North’s point-of-view it was interesting to learn more about what life was like for the people in the South.  I knew life was hard for them, but Too Deep for Words told how hard it truly was.  

I would recommend this book.  I liked this book a lot.  It ended with a lot of questions remaining.  I hope there will be at least one more book.

Disclosure of Material Connection- I received Too Deep for Words, by Andrea Boeshaar, for free from the Kregel Publications’ Blog Tour.  All links were current when posted.  I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own or those of my family.  I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.

Friday, May 5, 2017

Local Poet by Paul Trembling (Book Review

Local Poet

By Paul Trembling

(received in exchange for an honest review)

 

Genre- Fiction / Suspense / Mystery

Published by- Lion Fiction

Copyrighted- 2016

Number of pages- 176

Age Group- Adult

Description of book- paperback, listed price- $14.99, ISBN: 978-1-78264-230-5

Local Poet Paul Trembling

Laney Grey walked out in front of Rob Seaton’s van.  He isn’t able to stop, and she dies on impact.  He wants to learn more about her and what made her do it.  To learn more about her he needs to understand her poetry and learn about her past.

Will he be able to understand her poetry?  Why is his life now in danger?

About the Author-

Paul Trembling has always been telling stories.  He has been a missionary, janitor, seaman, and a crime scene investigator. 

My Thoughts-

Paul Trembling has written a spellbinding book, bound to capture your attention to the end.  You will learn more and more about Rob and Laney. because of Trembling’s storytelling ability. 

When I write poetry it’s straight forward, but I’ve read poetry like Laney’s, so I knew what Rob was going through.  It can be hard to read something, then try to get the true meaning of it.  I was impressed that Rob was able to keep going and learn more and more about her work. 

My favorite part of the book happened during day five when he had to escape from his house by going through his neighbors backyards.  It was funny when he was walking on the garden wall in the dark and trying not to slip, but he does.  He also has to go through a neighbors house to get away from the reporters.

I liked having the table of contents, so I could find the chapter I was looking for.  I enjoyed reading the first chapter of the next book, Local Artist.  It looks like a very interesting book. 

I recommend it!  Since the main character is a man, I think men will especially appreciate it.    

Disclosure of Material Connection- I received Local Poet, by Paul Trembling, for free from the Kregel Publications’ Blog Tour.  All links were current when posted.  I was not required to write a positive review.  The opinions I have expressed are my own or those of my family.  I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.

Friday, April 28, 2017

Alabaster by Chris Aslan (Book Review!)

Alabaster

By Chris Aslan

(received in exchange for an honest review)

 

Genre- Fiction / History

Published by- Lion Fiction

Copyrighted- 2016

Number of pages- 208

Age Group- Adult

Description of book- paperback, listed price- $14.99, ISBN: 978-1-78264-228-2

Alabaster Chris Aslan

Maryam and the rest of her family are living in a overly religious village in the first-century Middle East..  Her father helps a dying leper and contracts the disease himself.  He’s exiled from the village, but is able to leave an alabaster jar of an expensive perfume, given to him by that leper.  Maryam and her brother and sister experience shame because of their father.  Maryam lives with her in-laws in an abusive marriage, her brother has left the village, and her sister lives alone.

Will they ever feel hope again?  Who is this mysterious doctor that everyone has been hearing about?

About the Author-

Chris Aslan currently studies in Oxford, guides tours around Central Asia, and lectures on textiles.  He grew up in Beirut.  He has written a book, A Carpet Ride to Khiva: Seven Years on the Silk Road, about life in Uzbekistan.  

My Thoughts-

Alabaster was an interesting book.  I don’t know a lot about the first-century Middle East, but I feel that I learned a lot about what society could be like.

I discovered that during this time, women didn’t have much of a say in their own lives.  Maryam was raped, became pregnant, and had to marry the man, who then abused her.  It wasn’t until much later, when the doctor/teacher came that she finally was able to have some hope. 

The storytelling was done so well that I felt I was there with Maryam and her family.  I could feel their hope and their pain.  I think that women will especially enjoy this book, because they can learn how the teacher can help them with any pain in their lives.

I recommend it!    

Disclosure of Material Connection- I received Alabaster, by Chris Aslan, for free from the Kregel Publications’ Blog Tour.  All links were current when posted.  I was not required to write a positive review.  The opinions I have expressed are my own or those of my family.  I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.

Friday, April 21, 2017

Welcome to College by Jonathan Morrow (Book Review!)

Welcome to College: A Christ-followers Guide for the Journey

by Jonathan Morrow

(received in exchange for an honest review)

Welcome to College

Genre- Nonfiction / Religion / Christian Life / Social Issues

Published by- Kregel Publications

Copyrighted- 2017

Number of pages- 416

Age Group- Young Adult (those ready for college)

Description of book- paperback, listed price- $21.99, ISBN 978-0-8254-4488-3

Welcome to College is filled with helpful information for those who are headed to college.  College is full of freedom, new friends, and other experiences which can affect a young adults future.  This book covers everything from A to Z dealing with life at college:

  • eating right
  • dating
  • being more like Jesus
  • how to read the Bible
  • true tolerance
  • and more

In this second edition each chapter has been updated and there is a new chapter of Christianity, homosexuality, and the Bible.  There are also discussion questions, a section called “The Big Ideas” at the end of each chapter, and each chapter has a list of resources for more information.

About the Author-

Jonathan Morrow (DMin, MDiv) is the directoror cultural engagement at Impact 360 Institute.  He is also an adjunct professor of apologetics at Biola University.  He has written several other books and is married with three children.  His website is www.jonathanmorrow.org.

My thoughts-

I was very impressed when I opened the package and began skimming through this book.  What I first noticed was the short chapters and each chapter had a “The Big Ideas” section and “For Further Discovery” (long list of resources).  At the end of the book was a section that held the discussion questions from each chapter.  The one thing that was missing, and I thought it needed to be there, was an index.  It would be very helpful to have an index to look up topics, rather than relying on the table of contents.

As I read this book I thought of what I would think of the book as a student going to college and as a parent of one who would be going to college soon.  I thought the information was current and very helpful.  It gave me a lot to think about as a Christian and how I want to raise my children.

Welcome to College is:

  • worth the price.
  • great for small study groups at home, school, or church.
  • very full of information, so it needs to be read slowly and carefully.
  • needed in the hands of high school students, so pass it along.

I highly recommend this book.

Disclosure of Material Connection- I received Welcome to Collge, by Jonathan Morrow, for free from Kregel Publications’ Blog Tour.  All links were current when posted.  I was not required to write a positive review.  The opinions I have expressed are my own or those of my family.  I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.