Friday, December 30, 2016

Getaway with God by Letitia Suk (Book Review)

Getaway with God

The Everywoman’s Guide to Personal Retreat

by Letitia Suk

(received in exchange for an honest review)

Getaway with God

Genre- Religion / Christian Life / Spiritual Growth

Published by- Kregel Publications

Copyrighted- 2016

Number of pages- 160

Age Group- Adult (women)

Description of book- paperback, listed price- $14.99, ISBN 978-0-8254-4415-9

Are you busy all the time?  Is it hard to spend time with God?  Perhaps it’s time to go on a personal retreat with God.

Letitia Suk has written a book that gives guidance and tips on how to take a personal retreat.  There are ideas for:

  • the amount of time that works for you.
  • different types of retreats.
  • how to pray.
  • what to do on the different days.

About the Author-

Letitia Suk and her husband have four adult children and currently live near Chicago.  She is a life coach, speaker, and author.  Her website is LetitiaSuk.com

My thoughts-

Sometimes I feel as if I have no time to myself and no quality time with God.  I think it would be fun, restful, and restorative.  I wouldn’t like to leave my family for a time, but it would probably be the best for all of us. 

There were many different ideas and helpful tips.  I really liked the part where Suk discussed exactly what to do on a five day retreat.  She told her story, gave a sample schedule, and different areas (ex. health, home, and work).

The only part I didn’t agree with was the Sabbath.  The Sabbath is much more important than she made it out to be.  It is one of the ten commandments, so it must be followed.  You also need to make sure you know which is the true day.

I thought this was a good book.  I would really like to work on planning my retreat.  I suggest all women take time for themselves. 

Disclosure of Material Connection- I received Getaway with God, by Letitia Suk, 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.

Friday, December 16, 2016

Lucifer’s Harvest by Mel Starr (Book Review!)

Lucifer’s Harvest (Book 9, The Chronicles of Hugh de Singleton, surgeon)

By Mel Starr

(received in exchange for an honest review)

 

Genre- Historical Fiction / Mystery

Published by- Lion Fiction

Copyrighted- 2016

Number of pages- 160

Age Group- Adult 

Description of book- paperback, listed price- $14.99, ISBN 978-1-78264-188-9

Lucifer's Harvest

Lord Gilbert Talbert and his soldiers need to go to Prince Edward in France.  Hugh de Singleton needs to go along as his surgeon.  Along the way, Hugh’s wife’s old beau, Sir Simon Trillowe, and his group join everyone.  Sir Simon holds a grudge against Hugh and has even burned his house, so Hugh knows he needs be aware of his surroundings.  Sir Simon has been known to try to hurt Hugh.

It turns out that it was Sir Simon who should have been more aware of his surroundings.  Hugh needs to find out who killed Trillowe, because he is being blamed.

About the Author-

Mel Starr and his wife have seven grandchildren and two daughters.  Starr grew up in Michigan and taught history in the Michigan public school system for 39 years.  He knows a lot about medieval English medieval surgery.  He currently lives in Michigan

My thoughts-

I haven’t read the first three books in this series.  I have thoroughly enjoyed reading Unhallowed Ground, The Tainted Coin, Rest Not in Peace, The Abbot's Agreement, Ashes to Ashes, and Lucifer’s Harvest.  I like that each one is a mystery, focuses on an early time period (late 1300's), and each book is well written. 

While this book was shorter than many of the other ones, it didn’t disappoint.  Hugh was able to help people and solve Sir Simon’s murder.  I like how Lord Gilbert is always there for Hugh.  He is always doing what he can for Hugh and his family, whether they are near or far. 

One of the best parts of the book is still the glossary.  It has been one my favorite sections in each book.  I enjoyed reading and learning about the clothing, food, and times of the year.  This section helps me learn about a time period I don’t know much about.

Hugh is certainly dedicated.  He is determined to find out who the dead man is and why he died.  I like his determination.  We all need to have his persistence and desire to make sure all wrongs are righted. 

I think this is an excellent book and series.  I’m looking forward to the next book, Deeds of Darkness

Readers who enjoy mysteries and/or historical fiction will enjoy this book.

Disclosure of Material Connection- I received Lucifer’s Harvest, by Mel Starr, 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, December 9, 2016

When There is No Miracle by Robert L. Wise (Book Review!)

When There is No Miracle

Finding Hope in Pain and Suffering (Revised and Expanded Edition)

by Robert L. Wise

(received in exchange for an honest review)

When There is No Miracle

Genre- Religion / Christian Life / Death, Grief, Bereavement

Published by- Kregel Publications

Copyrighted- 2016

Number of pages- 168

Age Group- Adult

Description of book- paperback, listed price- $14.99, ISBN 978-0-8254-4425-8

There are many tragedies happening around the world every second.  They have become a daily part of our lives.  Robert Wise has written this book to help answer the question people always ask, “Why?”  Over the years he has learned answers from his questioning  and searching in the Bible.  He shares what he has learned in this book.  As you read this book, you’ll be able to see that God is always there, even if it doesn’t seem like it.

About the Author-

Robert L. Wise has written thirty-four books under his name and the pseudonyms, Spencer E. Moses and Ed Moses.  He is an archbishop in the Communion of Evangelical Episcopal Churches.

My thoughts-

This book gave me a lot to think about.  There is so much tragedy and pain in the world.  You can’t turn on the television or look on the internet without seeing a natural disaster or one that man has caused. 

This book is full of Bible verses and personal stories from Wise.  There was a lot that I think was very useful, but you’ll want to read it for yourself according to what you believe.

I think Wise has written a book, which will help many people learn how to better deal with pain and tragedy.  They will always be able to see God in everything that happens.

You should pick up a copy soon.

Disclosure of Material Connection- I received When There is No Miracle, by Robert L. Wise, 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.

Friday, December 2, 2016

Candle Day by Day: Bible by Juliet David and illustrated by Jane Heyes

Candle Day by Day: Bible

By Juliet David

Illustrated by Jane Heyes

(received in exchange for an honest review)

Candle Day By Day Bible

Genre- Christian / Juvenile /

Published by- Candle Books

Copyrighted- 2016

Number of pages- 368

Age Group- Young children (5-7)

Description of book- hardback, listed price- $16.99, ISBN 978-1-78128-281-6

This is a flip calendar edition of the Bible, which has won Children’s Book of the Year; CRT Awards 2015.  There are accounts of Jesus, Jacob, Elijah, and others from the Bible.

The language is easy for young children to understand.  The illustrations are subtle and relevant to the daily devotion.

About the Author-

Juliet David lives in London with her family. She has written Bible activity books and children’s stories. She enjoys traveling to Israel and other Bible lands.

About the Illustrator-

Jane Heyes currently lives in the South of France.  She has established her own publishing company.  Her artwork has been in children’s books, ceramics, textiles, wall art, and more.

My thoughts-

This flip calendar is perfect for young children to begin to know the Bible.  Each day they can either read or have the story read to them while they look at the illustration.  I think that it would have been nice to have if each day had the relevant Bible verses next to it.  Some children might enjoy knowing more about the story.

I also would have enjoyed a day of the month not just a number of the year.  My daughter and I had to use the computer to find out what number matched our date.

I enjoyed reading the text and looking at the illustrations in this book.  I think the young children in your life would like it too.  It would make a good present.

Disclosure of Material Connection- I received Candle Day by Day: Bible, by Juliet David and illustrated by Jane Heyes, 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.

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Candle Day by Day: Walk with Jesus by Juliet David and illustrated by Jane Heyes

Candle Day by Day: Walk with Jesus

By Juliet David

Illustrated by Jane Heyes

(received in exchange for an honest review)

Candle Day by Day Walk with Jesus

Genre- Christian / Juvenile /

Published by- Candle Books

Copyrighted- 2016

Number of pages- 48

Age Group- Young children (young readers)

Description of book- hardback, listed price- $9.99, ISBN 978-1-78128-291-5

This book contains 40 days of readings to help young children learn more about Jesus.  For each day there is a Bible verse, question, and short story.  The Bible verses come from different versions of the Bible.  The different readings are based on the Gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John.

The language is easy enough for toddlers to understand and simple enough for younger readers.  The illustrations are subtle, but realistic, and come off the page.

About the Author-

Juliet David lives in London with her family. She has written Bible activity books and children’s stories. She enjoys traveling to Israel and other Bible lands.

About the Illustrator-

Jane Heyes currently lives in the South of France.  She has established her own publishing company.  Her artwork has been in children’s books, ceramics, textiles, wall art, and more.

My thoughts-

I liked the story, Bible verses, and questions in this book.  I feel that David did a good job of including the most important parts of Jesus’s life. 

I thought that the illustrations were subtle, but captivating.  They will keep a young child interested while the short story is being read to them.  You’ll want to make sure you have your Bible on hand, because you might need it to answer some of the questions.  Your young child might have more questions about the story as well.

There are some of the stories that you might want to add to, because there just wasn’t enough space for David to add enough information.  Those readings that needed more involved the end of Jesus’s life on this Earth. 

I enjoyed reading the text and looking at the illustrations in this book.  I think the young children in your life would like it too.

Disclosure of Material Connection- I received Candle Day by Day: Walk with Jesus, by Juliet David and illustrated by Jane Heyes, 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.

Thursday, November 17, 2016

End of the Roadie by Elizabeth Flynn (Book Review!)

End of the Roadie: A Mystery for D.I. Costello

By Elizabeth Flynn

(received in exchange for an honest review)

End of the Roadie

Genre- Fiction / Christian / Mystery

Published by- Lion Hudson

Copyrighted- 2016

Number of pages- 204

Age Group- Adult 

Description of book- paperback, listed price- $14.99, ISBN 978-1-78264-205-3

Oliver Joplin is found murdered after Brendan Phelan’s  rock concert.  The show was full of bass, guitars, cracking whips, and the sounds of gunshots.  Detective Inspector Angela Costello and her team are called to investigate.  They soon discover that very few people liked or trusted Joplin.  He had a lot of shady deals.  Who could have killed him?

About the Author-

Elizabeth Flynn has written Game, Set, and Murder and Dead Gorgeous.  She currently lives in London and has experience in theater in stage management and as an actress.

My thoughts-

This book was intriguing.  I had a hard time putting it down.  It was one of those books that I couldn’t read before going to bed, because I wouldn’t be sleeping until late in the night.  I didn’t expect those who were guilty to be guilty.  I was kept guessing until the end.  The relationships between the main characters grew in this book.  Detective Constable Gary Houseman and Angela grew closer, because they worked together, and he dated her stepdaughter.  They worked well and were able to solve the murder with the help of their team.  

I enjoyed reading a mystery where the D.I. was a woman and one of the main characters.  I recommend this book to anyone who enjoys mysteries.  I’m looking forward to reading the next book in the series. 

Disclosure of Material Connection- I received End of the Roadie, by Elizabeth Flynn, 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, November 11, 2016

Refresh by Kimberly M. Drew and Jocelyn Green (Book Review!)

Refresh

Spiritual Nurishment for Parents of Children with Special Needs

by Kimberly M. Drew and Jocelyn Green

(received in exchange for an honest review)

Refresh

Genre- Religion / Christian Life / Devotional

Published by- Kregel Publications

Copyrighted- 2016

Number of pages- 282

Age Group- Adult

Description of book- paperback, listed price- $15.99, ISBN 978-0-8254-4403-6

It can be difficult to raise children.  For those who have special needs, it can be even more difficult.  The parent needs to be a parent, nurse, caregiver, and more on a daily basis.  It can get overwhelming.

Kimberly M. Drew and Jocelyn Green understand the difficulties that come when raising children with special needs, and they have written this book for those parents who have children with special needs.  They also share the lives of others with special needs children.

About the Authors-

Kimberly M. Drew and her husband have three children.  One of them has severe disabilities.  She is an elementary school teacher and blogs at www.promisesandperspective.blogspot.com.

Jocelyn Green and her husband have a son who has congenital hypothyroidism.  She has written other books, Faith Deployed,  Wedded to War, and others.  You can learn more about her and www.JocelynGreen.com.

My thoughts-

The title of this book, Refresh, describes this book perfectly.  The parents of special needs children will be refreshed when they read the different short devotionals.  The different sections that they can chose devotions from are:

  • “Uprooted: When Life’s Landscape Changes”
  • “Sowing Seeds: Cultivating Truth and Faith
  • “Pulling Weeds: Digging Out That Which Entangles”
  • “Parched: When Hope Withers”
  • “Drenched: Nurishing the Soul”
  • “Sunlit: Turning Toward the Son”
  • “Pruned: When Pain Produces Fruit”
  • “Branching Out: Touching Other’s Lives Through the Journey

Each of these devotional style chapters contain supporting Bible verses, digging deeper questions, prayers, and the stories of the authors and other parents.

I’m not a parent of a special needs child, but I know that this book will bless those parents out there who need support on a daily basis.  It has blessed me.  This is a perfect way to learn the different Bible verses that may help sooth rough days.  Each chapter is short, which will help on those extra busy days.  There is a section at the end of the book to help those who don’t know Jesus personally.  There is also a section of resources.

I highly recommend this book for parents of special needs children. 

Disclosure of Material Connection- I received Refresh, by Kimberly M. Drew and Jocelyn Green, 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.

Friday, November 4, 2016

The Name I Call Myself by Beth Moran (Book Review!)

The Name I Call Myself

By Beth Moran

(received in exchange for an honest review)

 

Genre- Fiction / Christian

Published by- Lion Fiction

Copyrighted- 2015

Number of pages- 351

Age Group- Adult

Description of book- paperback, listed price- $14.99, ISBN: 978-1-78264-207-7

The Name I Call Myself

Faith has a wonderfully rich and handsome boyfriend, who she is engaged to marry, soon.  Her future mother-in-law in trying to do all the wedding plans, totally unlike the way Faith wants it to be, especially the dress.

Faith knows exactly the way she would like her wedding and goes to her mother’s church to talk to the minister about holding a small ceremony there.  She doesn’t expect to find  someone who will make her feel safe.  She has secrets that many people don’t know.

Will she stay engaged?  Will her secrets stay hidden?

About the Author-

Beth Moran currently lives in Nottingham with her three children and husband.  She helps lead a national women’s network, Free Range Chicks.

My Thoughts-

This was a delightful book.  I couldn’t put it down.  I just had to read it until the end.  The characters, Faith, Marilyn, and the others became like sisters to me as I read their story.  I could feel Faith’s pain over her engagement and the trouble with her brother.  I could feel the support from Marilyn and the rest of the women from her mother’s church.  Moran made me feel hope for the future.   That no matter the struggles in our lives, there is always hope.  We can look forward to the next day.  Support of friends is also very important.  We can more easily have hope if we have the support of wonderful friends.

I also liked the reading guide questions at the back of the book.  They made me think.

If you liked Making Marion and I Hope You Dance, you’ll like this one too.  You don’t need the other books to read this one!

Disclosure of Material Connection- I received The Name I Call Myself, by Beth Moran, 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, October 28, 2016

Life Creative by Wendy Speake and Kelli Stuart (Book Review!)

Life Creative:

Inspiration for Today’s Renassance Mom

by Wendy Speake and Kelli Stuart

(received in exchange for an honest review)

Life Creative

Genre- Religion / Christian Life / Inspirational

Published by- Kregel Publications

Copyrighted- 2016

Number of pages- 207

Age Group- Adult

Description of book- paperback, listed price- $14.99, ISBN 978-0-8254-4410-4

Are you a creative person?  Are you a mom?  Do you have problems fitting your creativity into your life as a mom?  This book can help you.

Life Creative helps creative moms fit their creativity into their day to day life.  It is a new Renaissance time.  Some of the women who are talked about are Melissa Michaels, Lisa Leonard, Angie Smith, and Ellie Holcomb.

About the Authors-

Wendy Speake has written Triggers.  She is also an actress.

Kelli Stuart has written Like a River from Its Course and 30 Days to Becoming a Writer.  She is a speaker and blogger. 

My thoughts-

This is an inspirational book.  I liked all of the definitions of words, quotes from the text, and stories about the women.  The stories about the different women helped me realize that there is a time and a place for everything.  Your creative side might have to wait until the children are older, or you might need to find a way to have child care while you are being creative.  It is just important to remember that while you are important, the care of your family is more important and that the time will come that you can unleash your creative side.  You might even be able to be creative with your family.  If you like baking, you can do it for them until you can bake full time for others.

It would have been nice if there had been questions and/or a summary at the end of each chapter.  It would have given me a lot of good ideas to do in my life.

I highly suggest that you find this book, enjoy reading and learning from it, then pass it on to other creative women that you know.

Disclosure of Material Connection- I received Life Creative, by Wendy Speake and Kelli Stuart, 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.

Thursday, October 20, 2016

A Day and a Life by Penolope Wilcock (Book Review!)

A Day and a Life

The Hawk and the Dove Series, Book 9

By Penelope Wilcock

(received in exchange for an honest review)

 

Genre- Fiction / Christian / Historical

Published by- Lion Hudson

Copyrighted- 2016

Number of pages- 221

Age Group- Adult

Description of book- paperback, listed price- $14.99, ISBN: 978-1-78264-200-8

A Day and a Life

Brother Cedd has vanished.  Nobody knows where he has gone, and he doesn’t know how he has affected those he has left behind. 

As everyone else goes about their day they wonder about him, but they also know that each of them has their own part to do at St. Alcuin.  What will happen if he returns?  Will he return? 

About the Author-

Penelope Wilcock currently lives in England with her family.  She is a writer and is a former Methodist minister.  Her blog is Kindred of the Quiet Way.

My Thoughts-

Penelope Wilcock is a talented writer.  I have enjoyed all the books in The Hawk and the Dove series.  I was sad when I read the back of the book, and it said it was the end of the series.  I have been drawn into each of the books, so I’m able to remember the monks from one book to another.  It is inspiring to watch them learn from each other and God, then grow.

As I finished this book, I realized that in each of these books I have taken life lessons that were important in my life at the time.  I learned about what each of the monks did in a typical day, but along the way they thought different things and sometimes had small conflicts with each other.  Their lives aren’t that much different than ours in the 21st century.  We need to be kind to others.  We also shouldn’t focus on our weaknesses, but our strengths.

I would recommend this book and the rest of the series to others.  There are life lessons and good information about 14th century monasteries.

Disclosure of Material Connection- I received A Day and a Life, by Penelope Wilcock, 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.

Thursday, October 13, 2016

He Knows Your Name by Linda Znachko

He Knows Your Name:

How One Abandoned Baby Inspired Me to Say Yes to God

by Linda Znachko

(received in exchange for an honest review)

He Knows Your Name

Genre- Biography & Autobiography / Religious

Published by- Kregel Publications

Copyrighted- 2016

Number of pages- 192

Age Group- Adult

Description of book- paperback, listed price- $14.99, ISBN 978-0-8254-4404-3

Linda Znachko’s life was in a difficult season, but she saw that there was a need to follow Jesus’s leading to comfort those who were suffering. 

She was able to provide a burial service for a baby who was abandoned in a dumpster.  She has continued to step out of her comfort zone and provide comfort to those who may never get dignity in death.

About the Author-

Linda Znachko is a speaker at conferences and retreats.  She is the founder of He Knows Your Name Ministries.

My thoughts-

This book was well written and touching.  When I began reading, I was simply going to read one chapter.  I couldn’t put it down.  I wanted to know more about the people she was helping.  I ended up going to bed early in the morning!

What touched me the most was how much of an impact Znachko had on those around her.  Each chapter told about another family she was able to help.  Sometimes she provided a headstone and other times she helped provide the entire funeral.  She built a group and it grew to helping many.

In this book I would have liked to know more about her organization.  I learned a lot about the different families she was ablet to help, but not about He Knows Your Name Ministries.  

I suggest that you find this book and enjoy reading it.

Disclosure of Material Connection- I received He Knows Your Name, by Linda Znachko, 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.

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Fifth Column by Mike Hollow (Book Review!)

Fifth Column (The Blitz Detective, Book 2)

By Mike Hollow

(received in exchange for an honest review)

Fifth Column

Genre- Fiction / Suspense

Published by- Lion Fiction

Copyrighted- 2016

Number of pages- 336

Age Group- Adult

Description of book- paperback, listed price- $14.99, ISBN: 978-1-78264-186-5

We are taken back to the time of the London Blitz during WW II in Fifth Column, by Mike Hollow.

D.I. Jago is back to solver another mystery.  After a night raid, the body of a young woman is found.  She has no identity and can’t be tied to the area, so D.I. Jago is called in.  He quickly learns that her name was Mary Watkins and was strangled.  She worked for an engineering company which is now missing chemicals.

Is she to blame for the theft?  Who killed her?  And will the romance between D.I. Jago and the American reporter, Miss Dorothy Appleton. 

About the Author-

Mike Hollow currently lives in Hampshire with his wife.  He has worked for the BBC and Tearfund.  He is a freelance writer and editor.

My thoughts-

One of my favorite genres to read is mysteries, so I was excited when I was given the chance to read Fifth Column, the second book in the series.

While I enjoyed trying to figure out who killed Mary Watkins, my favorite part of the book was learning all the little interesting tidbits about the London area in 1940.  It helped me to know and feel what it was like for those in the area at the time.  I didn’t know that they had Dig for Victory gardens (vegetable gardens), similar to our Victory gardens in the States.  I didn’t know that there were people who liked Hitler in England and wanted to be a part of his world.  It was interesting that there were the superstitions like “knock and wood” and that a magpie by itself means bad luck.  Those superstitions came from a lady from Scotland. 

I liked the map of the area in the front of the book, but I would like to see a list of characters in future books.  I kept getting the characters mixed up.  The acknowledgements were interesting, because I learned that this mystery was based on a 1939 trial about a man who tried to extort money by threatening to accuse someone of spying for Germany. 

I enjoyed learning more about Detective Inspector John Jago and meeting new characters in this book.  Fifth Column stands alone, but it is still a good idea to read Direct Hit first.  I look forward to reading more books by Mike Hollow.

Disclosure of Material Connection- I received Fifth Column, by Mike Hollow, 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, September 16, 2016

The Bible and Me retold by Lois Rock and illustrated by Alida Massari (Book Review!)

The Bible and Me: Stories with a message to live by

retold by Lois Rock and illustrated by Alida Massari

(received in exchange for an honest review)

The Bible and Me

Genre- Nonfiction / Christian / Bible Story

Published by- Lion Children’s Books

Copyrighted- 2016

Number of pages- 128

Age Group- Juvenile

Description of book- hardback, listed price- $14.95, ISBN 978-0-7459-6495-9

This Bible storybook is sure to inspire all who read it.  It covers some of the most popular stories from the Bible.  In the table of contents each chapter name has a list of the chapters from the Bible, so that the reader can find the exact stories.  Each story begins with a quote from the Bible and ends with either a selection from Psalms or a prayer.

About the Author-

Lois Rock has written Bible stories, prayer books, and infomation books for children.  Her books have been translated into over thirty languages.  She is a mother of three.

About the Illustrator-

Alida Massari considers her art work as modern with an ancient atmosphere.  She studied in Rome at the European Institute of Design.

My thoughts-

I think this book of Bible stories is going to become a family favorite, to be passed down for generations. 

One of the best parts of this book was the illustrations, by Alida Massari.  I could study and learn from them on a daily basis.  They would also work for art study.  I liked how there were the same stories, but they were told in a new way.  Lois Rock included more of the back story and a little bit of the future of God’s people.  The quotes were from the Good News Bible, so they are easier for young children to understand.  I appreciated the extras between the chapters, it was nice having different Psalms, poems, and prayers between the chapter.  I also liked how the table of contents included all the books of the Bible that the stories were taken from.

I really recommend this book to families of young children.  It will become a classic in your family.  Find a copy for the young children in your life.

Disclosure of Material Connection- I received The Bible and Me, retold by Lois Rock and illustrated by Alida Massari, 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, August 26, 2016

Hearing God in Conversation by Samuel C. Williamson (Book Review!)

Hearing God in Conversation:

How to Recognize His Voice Everywhere

by Samuel C. Williamson

(received in exchange for an honest review)

Hearing God in Conversation

Genre- Religion / Christian Life / Spiritual Growth

Published by- Kregel Publications

Copyrighted- 2016

Number of pages- 216

Age Group- Adult

Description of book- paperback, listed price- $14.99, ISBN 978-0-8254-4424-1

Do you think that we should have a relationship with God where we communicate with him?  I do, and this book shows how to do just that.

Samuel Williamson shares how to recognize God’s voice, properly meditate, hear God in our ordinary day to day life, and more.

About the Author-

Samuel C. Williamson currently lives with his wife in Michigan.  He is the founding director of Beliefs of the Heart.

My thoughts-

When I saw the cover of this book I was confused.  I didn’t think it had much to do with hearing God, and I didn’t really want to read the book.  I’m glad I did though, because Williamson thoroughly explained how to hear God in everything.

I liked how he took the time and effort to add his life stories and to keep it very biblically based.  He always stressed that the reader should follow the what the Bible says.  He also made it clear what Christian meditation should and should not be.  We are to meditate on the Word and fill ourselves, not to empty.

The two appendices were informative, because they discussed different beliefs that people have today and how we should approach them when our beliefs are different than others.  I thought it was interesting that he included Jesus Calling, by Sarah Young.  I had heard that some people question her focus, but while Williamson appreciates what she has done, he tells us we need to remember that we need to make sure that we are listening the right way.

I think this is an excellent resource to read and pass on to others.  Enjoy reading it.

Disclosure of Material Connection- I received Hearing God in Conversation, by Samuel C. Williamson, 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.

Friday, August 19, 2016

Realm of Darkness by C. F. Dunn (Book Review)

Realm of Darkness

The Secret of the Journal, Book Four

By C. F. Dunn

(received in exchange for an honest review)

 

Genre- Fiction / Christian / Suspense

Published by- Lion Fiction

Copyrighted- 2016

Number of pages- 496

Age Group- Adult

Description of book- paperback, listed price- $14.99, ISBN: 978-0-78264-196-4

Realm of Darkness

Emma has been working hard to put current life first and forget about the past.  It has been very hard, but she is confident she has succeeded.  She is looking forward to living with Matthew and is getting close to her family again.

Unfortunately her past is catching up to her, and she doesn’t know how scary it will become.  Who or what is it going to be?  Will she be able to get past it?

About the Author-

C. F. Dunn lives in South-East England and has written Mortal Fire, Death be not Proud, and Rope of Sand.  She has a specialist dyslexia and autism school.

My Thoughts-

Realm of Darkness, by C. F. Dunn, was the fourth book in The Secret of the Journal series.  It capitvated me.  The first book focused on Emma’s infatuation with Matthew, the second book focused on their relationship and Matthew’s secret, the third book focused on their relationship and the trials they faced with Matthew’s long life, and this book focused what their future could be like, until her past comes to town.

I was liked that this book had a list of characters from Maine and England.  I also liked the synopsis of the other three books.  It really helped me remember who was who and what happened in each book.  Seeing what the Lynes Coat of Arms looked like was fun. 

Once I was reminded of what happened in the other three books, I was ready to get started.  Dunn did a wonderful job of including a lot of detail, which kept me captivated until the end.  I had to keep reading.  I wanted to know what Guy wanted from Emma and more about Emma and Matthew’s wedding plans.

You don’t need to read the other books in the series first, but I recommend it, so you can know everything that has happened.  I’m looking forward to the last book in the series, Fearful Symmetry.

Disclosure of Material Connection- I received Realm of Darkness, by C. F. Dunn, 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, August 12, 2016

The Power of Presence by Neil T. Anderson (Book Review!)

The Power of Presence

By Neil T. Anderson

(received in exchange for an honest review)

 

Genre- Nonfiction / Christian Living / Devotional

Published by- Monarch Books and Lion Hudson

Copyrighted- 2016

Number of pages- 144

Age Group- Adult

Description of book- paperback, listed price- $14.99, ISBN: 978-0-85721-731-8

The Power of Presence

Neil T. Anderson’s wife has been by his side for over fifty years.  Now she has dimentia and is slowly declining at a local nursing home.  She depends on Anderson greatly for the comfort and care he gives her.  Conversation is hard these days, so Anderson spends the time in God’s presence. 

This book has six chapters:

  • The Absence of Presence
  • Suffering in His Presence
  • Coming into His Presence
  • Ministering in His Presence
  • Resting in His Presence
  • Fully in His Presence

About the Author-

Dr. Neil T. Anderson founded Freedom in Christ Ministries and been the President Emeritus.  He has written many books, like The Bondage Breaker.

My Thoughts-

I thought this book was an interesting read.  I liked how Neil T. Anderson made this book about his current life as a caretaker for his wife and his growing closeness with God.  I like being able to have a story that mirrors the rest of the text.  It makes it easier to understand.

I appreciated the list of Bible verses about being accepted, being secure, and being significant for God.  The list of resources was helpful.  It would have been nice if there had been resources that weren’t written by or with him, but that’s okay.

I would recommend The Power of Presence to those who feel a desire to grow closer to God.

Disclosure of Material Connection- I received The Power of Presence, by Neil T. Anderson, 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, July 29, 2016

When There Are No Easy Answers by John S. Feinberg (Book Review!)

When There Are No Easy Answers

Thinking Differently About God, Suffering, and Evil

by John S. Feinberg

(received in exchange for an honest review)

When there are no Easy Answers

Genre- Religion / Christian Life / Death, Grief, Bereavement

Published by- Kregel Publications

Copyrighted- 2016

Number of pages- 151

Age Group- Adult

Description of book- paperback, listed price- $14.99, ISBN 978-0-8254-4412-8

Do you struggle with doubt when terrible things happen?  Does it threaten your faith?

John Feinberg had that exact scenario happen in his life.  His wife, Patricia, was diagnosed with Huntington’s Disease, currently uncurable, and Feinberg felt his faith trembling.

He wrote this book as a testimonial to what happened in his own family.  He felt he had a different way of telling the story of affliction.

About the Author-

John Feinberg is currently a professor of biblical and systematic theology at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School.  He is a former pastor.

My thoughts-

I thought this book was well written.  John Feinberg covered many different subjects like, what to say and do, what not to say, and how to accept what is happening.

I learned that timing is crucial to what you say to someone who is suffering.  I learned that if I am the one experiencing the suffering to take it one day at a time and what to do during that time.

There is a must read appendix in the back about affliction and Feinberg’s viewpoint on how it can be used in our lives.  He questioned and had problems with his wife’s diagnosis and struggle with Huntington’s disease, so he wrote this book about affliction and how to deal with it. 

I know that there are many people around the world, who are dealing with similar situations, so this book was written for them.  It was also written for those who know the ones who are struggling, it will help them better relate.

I think this is an excellent resource to read and pass on to others.  Enjoy reading it.

Disclosure of Material Connection- I received When There Are No Easy Answers, by John S. Feinberg, 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.

Friday, July 22, 2016

The Cantaloupe Thief by Deb Richardson-Moore (Book Review!)

The Cantaloupe Thief

A Branigan Powers Mystery, Book 1

By Deb Richardson-Moore

(received in exchange for an honest review)

 

Genre- Fiction / Christian / Mystery

Published by- Lion Fiction

Copyrighted- 2016

Number of pages- 299

Age Group- Adult

Description of book- paperback, listed price- $14.99, ISBN: 978-1-78264-192-6

The Cantaloupe Thief

 Branigan Powers, local reporter, is investigating the ten year murder of a wealthy widow, Alberta Resnick.  This is the only murder than this town hasn’t been able to solve.

Branigan knows that there was a homeless person living in the pool house at the time.  She also knows that the homeless often have a lot of information to share, but are often overlooked.  She contacts a local shelter to see if they can help her find those who were living in the area ten years ago.  The more she asks questions and goes to where they live the more dangerous it becomes.  The killer must be back, the homeless who knew something are beginning to die.

Is Branigan safe?  Who is living in her barn?

About the Author-

Deb Richardson-Moore is currently a pastor in South Carolina.  She has been a journalist and worked with the homeless.  Her website is www.debrichardsonmoore.com.

My Thoughts-

This was a great book to begin the series.  I have been interested in homelessness and this book brought it back into focus for me.  There are many homeless and we need to help them as much as week can.  I could tell how much Richardson-Moore had worked with the homeless and cares about them. 

This book showed me how much drugs can take you from the great works you might accomplish in life to a life of being homeless or to a life of crime.  Branigan’s brother, Davison, and Rita, a former retail clerk, I thought were the best examples.

There are a lot of people who help the homeless in this book.  There are also those who are homeless who are try to help those who live around them.  It was interesting that there were people who had excepted that lifestyle and chose to stay that way.  I think it really helped them stay anonymous in life.

The murder mystery to me was a side note on the bigger social issues being discussed.  It was captivating though.  I did not guess the guilty person.  I didn’t even have any idea. 

I’m looking forward to the next book in the series to see what other social issues are talked about.  I recommend that you read this book if you like mysteries or if you want a different viewpoint of the homeless.

If you want to learn more about Richardson-Moore’s work with the homeless, read her book, The Weight of Mercy.

Disclosure of Material Connection- I received The Cantaloupe Thief, by Deb Richardson-Moore, 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, July 15, 2016

Like a River from Its Course by Kelli Stuart (Book Review!)

LIke a River from Its Course

by Kelli Stuart

(received in exchange for an honest review)

Like A River From Its Course Kelli Stuart

Genre- Fiction / Christian / Historical

Published by- Kregel Publications

Copyrighted- 2016

Number of pages- 363

Age Group- Adult

Description of book- paperback, listed price- $14.99, ISBN 978-0-8254-4414-2

The country of Ukraine and its role in World War II is not known to many.  Kelli Stuart spent fifteen years researching and interviewing survivors for this book.

In this book the reader meets Maria Ivanovna (fourteen and sent to a German labor camp), Luda Michaelevna (sixteen and raped and pregnant by German soldiers), Frederick Hermann (wanting to do the best for Nazism), and Ivan Kryilovich (mistaken for a Jew and sent to Babi Yar, the “killing ditch”).

What will happen to them and their loved ones during the war?  Will they survive?  What will happen to their city, Kiev?

About the Author-

Kelli Stuart currently lives in Florida.  Her blog is KelliStuart.com.  She has written for American Girl, Disney, and Short Fiction Break.  Stuart is also a coauthor of Dare 2B Wise and Life Creative.

My thoughts-

I have never studied much about World War II.  I know some of what happened in England, France, and Germany, so I was very interested when I learned about this book.  I knew nothing about Ukraine’s involvement and Babi Yar.  Since part of this novel is about Ivan Kryilovich, who was sent to Babi Yar by mistake, it must mean that there many Jews living in Kiev at the time.

As with many books of historical fiction, I make sure I read everything about the book, from the testemonials to the acknowledgements.  Since this book didn’t have a special section discussing the historical background of this book, it is important to read the acknowledgements, because Stuart discusses some of her research.  It would have been nice if she had included more about her research and the people that the characters were based on.

This was a book I had hard time putting down.  I wanted to always learn more about their circumstances and what happened to them. 

If you want to learn more about World War II in the Ukraine, I would suggest that you read this one.  It is good for both men and women.

Disclosure of Material Connection- I received Like a River from Its Course, by Kelli Stuart, 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.

Friday, July 8, 2016

Lethal Harvest by William Cutrer and Sandra Glahn (Book Review!)

Lethal Harvest

by William Cutrer  and Sandra Glahn

(received in exchange for an honest review)

Lethal Harvest

Genre- Fiction / Christian / Suspense

Published by- Kregel Publications

Copyrighted- 2016

Number of pages- 352

Age Group- Adult

Description of book- paperback, listed price- $15.99, ISBN 978-0-8254-4409-8

Lucas Morgan.  Marnie Sullivan.  Ben McKay.  Just some of the people affected by Tim Sullivan’s experimenting with human embryos.  Tim is killed in a terrible accident following his experiments, which he hopes will save the president’s life. 

Tim and a group of federal agents are the only ones who know about this experiment, but because of his death, Marnie, his widow, and Ben (Tim’s business partner) must now figure out what happened. 

Are their lives safe?  Have others’s been affected by the human embryos?

About the Authors-

William Cutrer passed away in 2013, but was an ordained minister and a recognized expert in reproductive technology and medical ethics.

Sandra Glahn is a professor at Dallas Theological Seminary in media arts and worship.

My thoughts-

This book was certainly suspenseful.  I didn’t know what was going to happen.

Tim was a very interesting man.  I didn’t like that he hid his work, but I understand why he did it.  If his uncle, as the president of the United States, wasn’t able to do his job because of his health, the nation would be at risk.  Tim did it for all of the citizens.  I think he should have picked somewhere other than the clinic to store the embryos, but it is what it is.  The book wouldn’t have been the same otherwise. 

I liked Marnie and Ben.  They are being tested and need to figure out what is going on.  Ben falls back on his chaplain training to support Marnie after Tim’s death. 

This is an interesting book that I think both men and women will like.  I recommend it to those who like supense and intrigue.

Disclosure of Material Connection- I received Lethal Harvest, by William Cutrer and Sandra Glahn, 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.

Thursday, June 2, 2016

The Beautiful Thread by Penelope Wilcock (Book Review!)

The Beautiful Thread

The Hawk and Dove Series, Book 8

By Penelope Wilcock

(received in exchange for an honest review)

 

Genre- Fiction / Christian / Historical

Published by- Lion Hudson

Copyrighted- 2016

Number of pages- 208

Age Group- Adult

Description of book- paperback, listed price- $14.99, ISBN: 978-1-78264-145-2

The Beautiful Thread

William de Bulmer has come back to the abbey to help Abbot John and the new cellarer with a society wedding.  Unfortunately, Bishop Eric will also be there.  Since William is a former abbot and monk, who also attempted suicide, Bishop Eric could bring him to justice for breaking his monastic vows.  Bishop Eric wants to find him. 

Conradus's mother brings a problem of her own when she comes to the St. Alcuins to help with the wedding.  Will she be a help or a hindrance? 

About the Author-

Penelope Wilcock currently lives in England with her family.  She is a writer and is a former Methodist minister.  Her blog is Kindred of the Quiet Way.

My Thoughts-

I have enjoyed this book and the others in the series.  Penelope Wilcock is a wonderful writer.  I have been drawn into each of the books, so I've come to remember the characters and enjoy watching them grow in God.

I typically don't like to turn the corners of the pages or mark in books (I like to keep them nice), but I just had to do it in this book.  There were different life lessons and ways to grow in God.  My favorite one was on page 83 when Conradus's mother was speaking to Father John.  She had a game as a young child where she would try to make people happy.  She still did it as an adult.  I have noticed that I was doing the same thing at work.  I have been trying to brighten people's lives.  I really appreciated this lesson and I want to make sure that I do it every day. 

I would recommend this book to others.  There are life lessons and good information about 14th century abbeys.

Disclosure of Material Connection- I received The Beautiful Thread, by Penelope Wilcock, 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.

The Breath of Peace by Penelope Wilcock (Book Review)

The Breath of Peace

The Hawk and Dove Series, Book 7

By Penelope Wilcock

(received in exchange for an honest review)

 

Genre- Fiction / Christian / Historical

Published by- Lion Hudson

Copyrighted- 2016

Number of pages- 204

Age Group- Adult

Description of book- paperback, listed price- $14.99, ISBN: 978-1-78264-173-5

Breath of Peace

Abbot John needs his new brother-in-law, William de Bulmer, to come back to the abbey to help with cellarer duties. 
William is a former monk and abbot.  He loves his new wife, but each conversation has now become a fight.  He is very capable with finances, administration, and used to authority figures.  He is having more problems being a husband.

Will William be able to adjust to his married life?  Will he be able to help Abbot John with the duties at St. Alcuin's Abbey?

About the Author-

Penelope Wilcock currently lives in England with her family.  She is a writer and is a former Methodist minister.  Her blog is Kindred of the Quiet Way.

My Thoughts-

I have enjoyed this book and the others in the series.  Penelope Wilcock is a wonderful writer.  I have been drawn into each of the books, so I've come to remember the characters and enjoy watching them grow in God.

In this book there are several things I especially appreciated:

  • don't judge others.
  • learn their story (what makes them tick), so you know why they act the way they do.
  • be patient and kind.
  • don't assume you know eveyrthing about them.
  • take time for them.

I appreciated these lessons, because I have recently been in the situation where I need to do all of these things to make my life and theirs more pleasant. 

I would recommend this book to others.  There are life lessons and good information about 14th century abbeys.

Disclosure of Material Connection- I received The Breath of Peace, by Penelope Wilcock, 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.