Friday, October 20, 2017

Everywhere You Go There’s a Zacchaeus Up a Tree by Roger Campbell

Everywhere You Go There’s a Zacchaeus Up a Tree

by Roger Campbell

(received in exchange for an honest review)

Roger Campbell

Genre- Religion / Christian / Essays

Published by- Kregel Publications

Copyrighted- 2017

Number of pages- 176

Age Group- Adult

Description of book- paperback, listed price- $14.99, ISBN 978-0-8254-4458-6

Timothy Campbell has selected over 100 of his father’s newspaper columns for us to enjoy and learn from.  Roger Campbell wrote these columns about family, friends, life, and faith.  These columns end with pertinant Bible verse.

About the Authors-

Roger Campbell lived for twenty-two years in Michigan and worked as an author, columnist, and broadcaster.  He wrote Spurgeon’s Daily Treasures in the Psalms and Staying Positive in a Negative World.

Timothy Campbell (editor) is Roger’s son and lives in Michigan.  He is an ordained chaplain and is the owner of Life Resource Christian Counseling Center.

My thoughts-

This book was a lot of fun to read and glean information from.  I liked that they were short.  They would work perfectly as daily devotions, as they have Bible verses at the end.  The index was a helpful addition, because I could highlight the ones I especially liked and want to read again.  I noticed that it said that some of those columns are complete while others aren’t.  It would be nice if they were all complete.  I would be interested in seeing what was missing.

I plan on reading these columns to my children.  They’ll work well for reading at dinner, because I can read it then discuss it.  We’d be able to have something to talk about, instead of watching television.  These columns would work to build our family bond.

I enjoyed reading these columns and I’m sure you will too.  I highly recommend it.     

Disclosure of Material Connection- I received Everywhere You Go There’s a Zacchaeus Up a Tree, by Roger Campbell, 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 5, 2017

If We Make It Home by Christina Suzann Nelson (Book Review!)

If We Make it Home: A Novel of Faith and Survival in the Oregon Wilderness

by Christina Suzann Nelson

(received in exchange for an honest review)

If We Make it Home

Genre- Fiction / Christian

Published by- Kregel Publications

Copyrighted- 2017

Number of pages- 272

Age Group- Adult

Description of book- paperback, listed price- $14.99, ISBN 978-0-8254-4495-1

Ireland, Vicky, and Jenna have been separated since they graduated from college.  Now those twenty-five years will melt away as they meet each other at the Emery House at the University of Northwest Oregon.  Their fourth friend, Hope, has recently passed away.  They decide to take a trip into the wilderness to honor Hope and themselves.  Ireland wants to escape the charges that are facing her at the college where she teaches.  Jenna wants to embrace being an empty-nester.  Vicky wants change her ministry and her life.

Will they work together to solve their problems?  What will happen when their guide is killed by a tree?

About the Author-

Christina Suzann Nelson currently lives in Oregon with her husband and four children.  She has had essays published in the Cup of Comfort series.  She is a member of ACFW and Oregon Christian Writers, and this is her first novel.

My thoughts-

When I first learned and read the description for this book, I thought it was nonfiction.  I thought this, because I thought I had heard of this really happening.  It seemed like something that would really happen.

I liked how this was novel was written from the perspectives of Jenna, Vicky, and Ireland.  If the reader would have only had the view of one of the characters, the story would haven’t been as rich.  I also wouldn’t have had the chance to relate to the three women.  I was able to learn more about them and see myself in them.

The questions at the end were some of the most thought-provoking that I have read in a fiction book.  They didn’t just involve the characters, they involved me and what I would do in the situations.  I appreciated that, because I was able to think about myself in ways that I haven’t before.

I thought this book had a lot of action and ideas that I hadn’t thought of before.  It made me wonder if I could survive lost in the wilderness.  It would be nice to know if it was based partially on a true story.

I recommend.   

Disclosure of Material Connection- I received If We Make It Home, by Cindy K. Sproles, 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 29, 2017

Liar’s Winter by Cindy K. Sproles (Book Review!)

Liar’s Winter: An Appalachian Novel

by Cindy K. Sproles

(received in exchange for an honest review)

Liar's Winter

Genre- Fiction / Christian / Historical

Published by- Kregel Publications

Copyrighted- 2017

Number of pages- 248

Age Group- Adult

Description of book- paperback, listed price- $14.99, ISBN 978-0-8254-4453-1

Lochiel Ogle has been tormented and harmed for the first nineteen years of her life.  She has a red-wine birthmark that the mountain people call “the mark of the devil.”  She is rescued by a stranger after being beaten and left for dead by her brother.  While Lochiel is with him kindness and love are now a part of her new life.  Soon the new security will be gone as her brother finds her again and people fear her.

Will Lochiel ever be safe?  Why would her brother treat her so badly? 

About the Author-

Cindy K. Sproles currently lives with her family in East Tennessee.  She writes devotions and is a teacher/speaker and different conferences.  Her website is cindyksproles.com.

My thoughts-

Sproles’s writing brought me into Lochiel’s life and didn’t let me go until the book was over.  I find it both hard and not hard to believe that people were suspicious about her birthmark.  It’s the way it’s been for many years.  People are suspicious about people who are different than they are.  I would have liked a little more information about red-wine birthmarks somewhere in the book. 

I liked how this book was written from the first person point-of-view.  I could feel Lochiel’s joys and pains as I read the book.  She even thought the Devil was in her, because of how people treated her.  It wasn’t until her father found her that she began to know and feel the Lord.  I like all of the subtle hints of the Lord throughout the book. 

I could also see what it was like to live in the Appalachian Mountains of East Tennessee during the late 1890’s.

I think that many of you would enjoy this book.  I know I did.

(I really enjoyed the cover.)     

Disclosure of Material Connection- I received Liar’s Winter, by Cindy K. Sproles, 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 22, 2017

God Made the World By Debbie Rivers-Moore and Illustrated by Emma Haines (Book Review!)

God Made the World
By Debbie Rivers-Moore
Illustrated by Emma Haines
(received in exchange for an honest review)
God Made the World
Genre- Young Children / Nonfiction
Published by- Kregel Children’s book
Copyrighted- 2017
Number of pages- 4
Age Group- Young Children
Description of book- soft fabric cover and pages, listed price- $11.99, ISBN 978-0-8254-4520-0

This soft fabric book, which closes with Velcro and has a hanging tab, so it can be attached near the infant or toddler, is full of engaging illustrations.   This book also includes a child-safety mirror and cloth which crinkles.

About the Author-

Debbie Rivers-Moore has written several children’s books, Tractor Ted and Lamb Loves Springtime.

About the Illustrator-

Emma Haines in currently in Nottingham, England.  She is an illustrator and designer.

My thoughts-

When I opened the box, I was impressd that it came in a bag with a header card (that means it could be hung for display).  The packaging keeps it in the best condition before it goes to that special someone.  I did have questions after I read the back of the card.  The packaging says that it is machine washable, and that it should only be surface cleaned.  After looking and touching this cloth book, I would only surface clean it.  I think that putting it in the washing machine would damage the materials that make the crinkle noise and also the mirror.  The mirror is a nice addition, but it made my face look strange, perhaps it wouldn’t do that for a smaller face.  I liked the handle at the top.  A small hand would be able to carry it, and it would help it to attach to other objects, like strollers, so it couldnt get lost.

The illustrations were realistic and colorful.  Young children will enjoy looking at the pages.  Parents can tell the children what the different animals and plants are, with greater details.

Young children will enjoy this book.  I recommend it.   

Disclosure of Material Connection- I received God Made the World, by Debbie Rivers-Moore and illustrated by Emma Haines, 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 15, 2017

An Asian Harvest by Paul Hattaway (Book Review!)

An Asian Harvest

An Autobiography

by Paul Hattaway
(received in exchange for an honest review)
An Asian Harvest
Genre- Nonfiction / Christian / Missionary / Autobiography
Published by- Lion Fiction
Copyrighted- 2017
Number of pages- 320
Age Group- Adult
Today Paul Hattaway leads the ministry he founded, Asia Harvest, which has supplied milliions of Bibles to Christians in Asia, including China.  Life wasn’t always so successful for him.  He grew up in New Zealand and left home at the age of 16.  He moved to Australia where he befriended a coworker, who taught him about God.  Hattaway knew God was calling him to be a Bible courier in China.  He went to Hong Kong and soon began carrying Bibles across the border.  This was the beginning of his missionary work, and this is the book that tells that story.

About the Author-

Paul Hattaway grew up in New Zealand.  He has been a Bible courier and missionary.  He is the founder and director of Asia Harvest, which serves and supports the Church in Asia with Bible printing and helping missionaries.

My thoughts-

I was inspired as I read An Asian Harvest.  Paul Hattaway has a very strong faith, which should inspire everyone.  He prayed, focused, and knew what he needed to do to accomplish what he felt God was telling him.

There were many Bible verses and quotes from other Christian missionaries and teachers.  They were the right quotes at the right time.  The best part of the Bible verses was that they were chunks and not just small snippets.  I find that there is a lot more to get out of a chunk of verses, instead of one verse or part of one.

I thought this was a good book.  I highly recommend you read it, because you will see what true faith in God means and will be inspired. 

Disclosure of Material Connection- I received An Asian Harvest, by Paul Hattaway, 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 8, 2017

A Pair of Miracles by Karla Akins (Book Review!)

A Pair of Miracles: A Story of Autism, Faith and Determined Parenting
by Karla Akins
(received in exchange for an honest review)
A Pair of Miracles
Genre- Nonfiction / Family & Relationships / Autism Spectrum Disorders
Published by- Kregel Publications
Copyrighted- 2017
Number of pages- 224
Age Group- Adult
Description of book- paperback, listed price- $14.99, ISBN 978-0-8254-4484-5

Karla Akins’s twins were born with autism and fetal alcohol disorder, and she was warned that they would never be able to function independently.  She wanted to prove that through God anything is possible. 

She has written this book to show that through God many things are possible.  She shares her triumphs and mistakes with humor and lots of practicle advice. 

It is with Akins’s faith and love that her twins are now grown and able to function independently in many ways by helping their father in the church and with other jobs.

About the Author-

Karla Akins has written five books, is the mother of five, and is a co-minister with her husband at Christian Fellowship Church in Indiana.  She has experience with homeschooling, private schools, and public schools.  Her website is www.KarlaAkins.com.

My thoughts-

A Pair of Miracles can be an extremely useful tool for any parent who has a child with autism.  This book is full of pertinent information and encouragement.  I had a hard time putting this book down, because I was laughing and crying as I went on Karla Akins’s journey with her newly adopted twins.  I learned how important it is to have a support system, go with what your instincts are telling you, and the best ways to educate the children.

While the entire book was helpful and had great strategies, I really enjoyed reading the appendices.  I learned different strategies for occupational therapy, different objects that can be used for fidget toys, a list of functional skills, and there are even more resources.

This is a well written book.  I recommend it to you!  I plan on making our homeschooling library aware of this tool.

Disclosure of Material Connection- I received A Pair of Miracles, by Karla Akins, 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 1, 2017

The Unreformed Martin Luther by Andreas Malessa (Book Review!)

The Unreformed Martin Luther: A Serious (and Not So Serious) Look at the Man Behind the Myths
by Andreas Malessa
(received in exchange for an honest review)
The Unreformed Martin Luther
Genre- Nonfiction / Religion / History
Published by- Kregel Publications
Copyrighted- 2017
Number of pages- 176
Age Group- Adult
Description of book- paperback, listed price- $16.99, ISBN 978-0-5254-4456-2

What do you know about Martin Luther?  Are you able to separate the truth from the fiction?

Andreas Malessa has written this book which contains 25 chapters with ideas about if Luther was a warmonger, the first Lutheran, was married in secret, and much more. 

About the Author-

Andreas Malessa currently lives with his wife in Germany.  They have two daughters.  He is a radio and television journalist, author, lyricist, and theologian.

My thoughts-

I began reading this book with little knowledge of Martin Luther.  When I finished reading the book, I felt I knew more about him.  Now when I read about Luther, I will have a better idea about what is true or false.  I really appreciate that Malessa wrote this book.  I’m sure it will help many people who have ideas about what Luther did or said, and now they will have a greater sense about the truth.

The bibliography was very helpful.  It lists many sources, so the readers and I can do more research about the truth of what Luther said and did.  There are subject matters like drinking and sex in several of the chapters, so if younger children want to learn about Martin Luther, I would read the book with them.

This is a good and well written book.  I recommend it to you!

Disclosure of Material Connection- I received The Unreformed Luther, by Andreas Malessa, 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 25, 2017

Sacred Mundane by Kari Patterson (Book Review!)

Sacred Mundane: How to Find Freedom, Purpose, and Joy
by Kari Patterson
(received in exchange for an honest review)
Sacred Mundane
Genre- Nonfiction / Religion / Christian Life / Spiritual Growth
Published by- Kregel Publications
Copyrighted- 2017
Number of pages- 216
Age Group- Adult (Women)
Description of book- paperback, listed price- $15.99, ISBN 978-0-5254-4447-0

Do you wish your life was more?  Are you feeling trapped in all the of the day-to-day tasks?  This book is designed to help you realize that your daily tasks are to build you and others up.  You need to focus on Jesus and and the spiritual strength he’ll give you. 

This book has chapters that have been given specific words to help you grow.

  • Let (in)
  • Look
  • Listen
  • Engage
  • Embrace
  • Trust
  • Thank
  • Let (out)   

Sacred Mundane also inlude a small group study section, notes, and more about Kari Patterson.

About the Author-

Kari Patterson’s royalties from Sacred Mundane will go to World Vision and their work with women and children.  She is a mentor, Bible teacher, homeschool mom, and wife of a pastor.  She can be reached at www.karipatterson.com.  She is also on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

My thoughts-

As I read and studied this book, I found that I was learning a lot about really becoming peaceful in the life that I have.  I need to be active about reading the Bible, praying, and letting Jesus into my life.  If I do that, then I will find joy and peace in everything I do and show it to everyone I meet. 

  • I liked all of the personal stories from Patterson.  It helped show me how hard it has been for her and how it takes a lot of effort to become peaceful when life doesn’t go as planned.
  • Almost all books have their study questions or small group study sections at the end of the book.  I enjoy having those sections at the end of the chapter, because I’m able to easily find the questions while I’m reading the chapter.  I think that with this small group study that it was nice that it was at the end, because I could concentrate on reading the chapter and not worry at the time about what I need to do with the study (which was very thorough and helpful).

I know of other women who would gain a lot of understanding and peace during and after they have read about being able to live peacefully and happily in a life that seems mundane.  I would recommend this book to them and those I haven’t had the pleasure to meet.  It would also be perfect for small group studies.

Disclosure of Material Connection- I received Sacred Mundane: How to Find Freedom, Purpose, and Joy, by Kari Patterson, 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, August 17, 2017

The Soldier Who Killed a King by David Kitz (Book Review!)

The Soldier Who Killed a King
by David Kitz
(received in exchange for an honest review)
The Soldier Who Killed a King
Genre- Fiction / Christian / Historical
Published by- Kregel Publications
Copyrighted- 2017
Number of pages- 286
Age Group- Adult
Description of book- paperback, listed price- $14.99, ISBN 978-0-8254-4485-2

David Kitz has written an intriguing novel from a different perspective of the Holy Week. 

Marcus Longinus is the centurion who is in charge of keeping the streets free from rebellion, because of the king who arrived on the back of a donkey.  King Herod, the Jewish high priest Caiaphas, and Pontius Pilate are all players in this final week of Jesus’s life.  This book shows the plotting of King Herod and the confrontations between Caiaphas and Pontius Pilate.  Marcus spends time with Jesus and begins to change his mind.

Will he change his mind about the man everyone is talking about or will he think the same as Caiaphas  

About the Author-

David Kitz has written Little Frogging Explores the BIG World and Psalms Alive! Connecting Heaven and Earth.  He is an outreach minister with Foursquare Church and a Bible dramatist.

My thoughts-

I thought a book that was about Jesus’s death would make me feel a lot more emotional, but this book didn’t.  It could be that since it was written from a man’s point-of-view, there wasn’t as much emotion as there would be if it was written from a woman’s point-of-view.  I think that men would like this book more than women, since it was written from Marcus Longinus’s point-of-view.

I liked how well each character was written, and I especially liked the eiplogue which talked more about the main characters of Herod Antipas, Joseph Caiaphas, Pontius Pilate, Jesus, and the centurion.     

I would recommend this book.  It has an interesting perspective from that of the Romans.  It is also a good book for those who want to learn more about Jesus and the week leading up to His resurection.

Disclosure of Material Connection- I received The Soldier Who Killed a King, by David Kitz, 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 4, 2017

The Captivating Lady Charlotte by Carolyn Miller (Book Review!)

The Captivating Lady Charlotte
Regency Brides A Legacy of Grace, Book 2
by Carolyn Miller
(received in exchange for an honest review)
The Captivating Lady Charlotte
Genre- Fiction / Christian / Romance
Published by- Kregel Publications
Copyrighted- 2017
Number of pages- 310
Age Group- Adult
Description of book- paperback, listed price- $14.99, ISBN 978-0-8254-4451-7

Lady Charlotte Featherington wishes to marry for love.  Her father wants her to marry a widowed duke, not the man she thinks she loves. 

The widowed ninth Duke of Hartington is still hurting from his first marriage, which ended in scandal.  He doesn’t know if he can trust the young lady in their arranged marriage.  He feels as if he will never be able to trust her and any relationships she may have with other men.

These two will have to learn to trust each other.  If they don’t her mother and others will tear apart their relationship forever.

About the Author-

Carolyn Miller currently lives in Australia with her husband and children and has long enjoyed Regency Romance.  She is a member of the Australian Christian Writers and the American Christian Fiction Writers.  Her website is www.carolynmillerauthor.com

My thoughts-

Many stories have characters we love because they are so sweet like Lavinia and Charlotte.  There are also those characters who we love to dislike, because of their actions and attitudes.  This book had Charlotte’s mother and William’s sister.  William’s sister was simply trying to protect her brother and Charlotte’s mother was everything society expected her to be.  She reminded me of Mrs. Oleson from Little House on the Prairie

I was impressed how Carolyn Miller wrote those characters and all the rest of the characters.  She made the Duke, William, a person who didn’t go with what society expected.  He took an active interest in his lands and the improvements that needed to be made.  Charlotte and Lavinia were also memorable characters, because of the way they cared about others and pulled on their faith in God when trouble came.

This was a great book in the series.  I always enjoy reading a romance novel that also draws on the strength of God.  I’m looking forward to reading the next book in the series, The Dishonorable Miss DeLancey

I recommend it!    

Disclosure of Material Connection- I received The Captivating Lady Charlotte, by Carolyn Miller, 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, July 20, 2017

The Cover Story by Deb Richardson-Moore (Book Review!)

The Cover Story

A Branigan Powers Mystery, Book 2

by Deb Richardson-Moore
(received in exchange for an honest review)
The Cover Story
Genre- Fiction / Christian / Mystery
Published by- Lion Fiction
Copyrighted- 2017
Number of pages- 286
Age Group- Adult
Branigan Powers is off to solve another crime.  This time it’s personal, her niece, Charlie, and her friend have been in a tragic car accident.  Charlie was badly injured, and her friend was killed.  Charlie thinks they were run off the road by an old hearse, the police think it was an accident.

Branigan and her friend, Malachi, are determined to learn the truth.  The clues lead them to a nearby university and several sororities.  Soon another young lady is killed.  Will Branigan and Malachi find the murderer?  Is Charlie’s life in danger?

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-

I know I often say that I can’t put a book down, but I really couldn’t put this one down.  I took myself to a people and animal free room, shut the door, and finished reading the book.  I did not want to be disturbed.

I liked how Branigan teamed worked again with Malachi, who is homeless.  It’s interesting how Richardson-Moore shows the invisibility of homeless, but shows that everyone’s perception of them is wrong.  They do pay attention to what you do and they are wonderful at helping in times of trouble.

I read a lot of mysteries.  I thought that it was great that Branigan could get away with look for clues, since she was a reporter.  It sure helps to solve crimes when they involve family members, if all you’re doing is looking for your next big story.

I would like to see more involvement with Pastor Liam and God in future stories.  Pastor Liam plays an important part, but his role as a pastor and advocating for God doesn’t seem as important.

I can’t wait for another book in the series to see what the memorable characters are up to.  I highly recommend this series.

Disclosure of Material Connection- I received The Cover Story, 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 14, 2017

Season of Heartbreak by Mark Gregory Karris (Book Review!)

Season of Heartbreak
Healing for the Heart, Brain, and Soul
by Mark Gregory Karris
(received in exchange for an honest review)
Season of Heartbreak
Genre- Nonfiction / Religion / Christian Life / Relationships
Published by- Kregel Publications
Copyrighted- 2017
Number of pages- 226
Age Group- Adult
Description of book- paperback, listed price- $15.99, ISBN 978-0-8254-4471-5

Using his own circumstances and those of his time as a therapist and pastor, Mark Karris has written a book to help those who are grieving. 

This book was written in four parts:

  • Part 1 is about the grieving process.
  • Part 2 is about three different connections- God, others, and yourself.
  • Part 3 is about ways to help grieving- like prayer, journaling, and forgiving.
  • Part 4 is about learning to listen to others and a theology of suffering.

About the Author-

Mark Gregory Karris currently lives in Japan with his wife.  He is a recording artist, ordained pastor, and licensed marriage and family therapist.  His website is www.markgregorykarris.com.

My thoughts-

This book has so many nuggets of advice for those who are dealing with heartbreak.  It was easy to read as it didn’t have a lot of technical terms and had lots of relatable stories from his life and those in the Bible.

While I liked all of the different parts and all of the information that was given, there were some parts I would like to see added.  In nonfiction books like this, I like having a summary at the end of each chapter which discusses the most important points.  I also enjoy having study questions so I can find out more about myself from the material.

Season of Heartbreak would be a great book for those who are suffering and need healing for themselves. 

I recommend it!    

Disclosure of Material Connection- I received Season of Heartbreak, by Mark Gregory Karris, 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 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.

Friday, April 14, 2017

A Trail of Crumbs by Susie Finkbeiner (Book Review)

A Trail of Crumbs: A Novel of the Great Depression

by Susie Finkbeiner

(received in exchange for an honest review)

A Trail of Crumbs

Genre- Fiction / Christian / Historical

Published by- Kregel Publications

Copyrighted- 2017

Number of pages- 312

Age Group- Adult

Description of book- paperback, listed price- $14.99, ISBN 978-0-8254-4446-3

It’s now 1935.  Pearl and her family have continued living in Oklahoma through the Dust Bowl.  There is a family tragedy that sends the family to Michigan where the depression has set in.  Aunt Carrie and Uncle Gus are there to welcome them to Bliss.  Pearl is glad to be where there is no dust and life is better for them.  Her father will have a steady job and there will be a wonderful house for them to live in.

What sent the family to Michigan?  Why is Ray living with them?  Will their family ever be able to recover or will there be too many tragedies?

About the Author-

Susie Finkbeiner is currently from Michigan.  She is a blogger, stay-at-home mom, author, and speaker.  Her other books include My Mother’s Chronicle and A Cup of Dust.  Her website is www.susiefinkbeiner.com.

My thoughts-

I liked how this cover had a rainbow like A Cup of Dust.  It helps ties them together.  It shows the reader that the books belong together and are part of a series.  I also liked the discussion questions at the end of the book.  Discussion questions always help tie the book together and help the reader remember the book for a longer period of time.

When I started reading A Trail of Crumbs, I really thought life was going to be better for them after the tragedies of the first book and Beanie’s (Pearl’s sister) death.  I thought that the move to Michigan would bring the family peace.  It didn’t.  Pearl’s mother was unable to have peace.  She wasn’t able to make peace with the move, Beanie’s death, and the fact that Ray was still living with them.  She left.  I’m wondering now if there is a trail of crumbs that will be able to bring her back. 

I don’t think that Pearl and Ray would have been able to adjust so well to the move if Aunt Carrie and Uncle Gus hadn’t been there for them.  They helped make the move to Bliss fun for them.  I liked that God wasn’t forgotten about by Pearl and everyone else.  He was always important to Pearl and Meemaw (her grandmother).  We can know that He is always there for us.

I recommend A Trail of Crumbs to all adult readers.  It would be a good idea to read A Cup of Dust first, so you’ll learn more about Pearl and her family.  If you’re unable to, you’ll still enjoy this one. 

Disclosure of Material Connection- I received A Trail of Crumbs, by Susie Finkbeiner, 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, April 7, 2017

Andi Saddles Up and Andi Under the Big Top by Susan K. Marlow (2 Book Reviews!)

Andi Saddles Up

(Circle C Stepping Stones #1)

by Susan K. Marlow

(received in exchange for an honest review)

Andi Saddles Up

Genre- Fiction / Historical / Christian / Juvenile

Published by- Kregel Publications

Copyrighted- 2017

Number of pages- 112

Age Group- Juvenile (ages 7-10)

Description of book- paperback, listed price- $7.99, ISBN 978-0-8254-4430-2

It’s Andi’s birthday!  She is now nine and can finally ride Taffy.  She’s been waiting for three years(Taffy is three).  She wants to learn how to do some trick riding, but her brother doesn’t let her.  She makes a new friend, Sadie, and that makes it a little better.  Andi soon finds out that their families are in a boundary dispute. 

Will Andi and Sadie be able to stay friends?  What will Chad (her brother) do?  Will Andi ever be able to trick ride?

 

Andi Under the Big Top

(Circle C Stepping Stones #2)

by Susan K. Marlow

(received in exchange for an honest review)

Andi Under the Big Top

Genre- Fiction / Historical / Christian / Young Adult

Published by- Kregel Publications

Copyrighted- 2017

Number of pages- 112

Age Group- Juvenile (ages 7-10)

Description of book- paperback, listed price- $7.99, ISBN 978-0-8254-4431-9

Andi is so excited.  The circus is coming to town!  She can’t wait to see the parade, elephants, and champion bareback rider, but not the clowns.  She meets Henry Jackson, a boy who works for the circus.  Andi thinks working for the circus would be so much fun.  She doesn’t know though that Henry ran away from home and it’s not that fun.  When she finds out, she wants to help him get back home.

Will she be able to help Henry?  Will she lose something special to her?

About the Author-

Susan K. Marlow currently lives in Washington.  She writes books, teaches writing workshops, and shares information about being a homeschooling parent.  Her website is CircleCMilestones.com.

My thoughts-

I thoroughly enjoyed both of these books.  I know that these books are for younger girls, but I really get a kick out of reading about Andi.  She reminds me a little bit of Mandie, from the book series by Lois Gladys Leppard.  They both have spirit and are girls that every girl should strive to be.

I really liked the definitions at the beginning of the book.  I was glad that they were at the beginning of the book, so that the readers will know the words before they read them.  They were also words that some children may not know.  I also like the table of contents.  It’s so helpful when books have them, because if you want to go back to check something it’s easy to do.

God’s presence was always felt when reading this book, by that I mean that Andi and her family lived a Godly life.  They didn’t have to preach to others about God they simply showed it.

These books are excellent for young girls.  I’m sure that they will become classics for this generation and those to come. 

Disclosure of Material Connection- I received Andi Saddles Up and Andi Under the Big Top, by Susan K. Marlow, 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, March 23, 2017

The Elusive Miss Ellison by Carolyn Miller (Book Review!)

The Elusive Miss Elison (Regency Brides A Legacy of Grace, Book 1)

by Susan K. Marlow

(received in exchange for an honest review)

The Elusive Miss Ellison

Genre- Fiction / Historical / Christian / Romance

Published by- Kregel Publications

Copyrighted- 2017

Number of pages- 304

Age Group- Adult

Description of book- paperback, listed price- $14.99, ISBN 978-0-8254-4450-0

Miss Lavinia Ellison isn’t happy that the new Earl of Hawkesbury has arrived.  He reminds her of his brother who helped cause the death of her mother.  The villagers, primarily the mothers and daughters, are excited that he’s there.  He isn’t attached to anyone, so he is free to choose any of them.

The Earl of Hawkesbury, Nicholas, isn’t happy to be there.  He feels crushed by guilt, ancestral obligations, and the war he fought in.  He discovers that Lavinia is quite different, but they may never be able to be friends, due to their pasts.

Will they become friends?  Will he find love in the country?  Can Lavinia put the past to rest?

About the Author-

Carolyn Miller currently lives in Australia with her husband and children.  She is part of the Australasian Christian Writers and the American Christian Fiction Writers.  Some of her other novels have won RWA and ACFW contests.  Her website is www.carolynmiller.org.

My thoughts-

The Elusive Miss Elison was well written.  I never should have started reading it at night.  I couldn’t put it down.  It was a late night for me!

I don’t always like reading books about Regency England, but I loved reading this one.  Lavinia, Nicholas, Sophia, and all of the other characters were so well developed that I felt like I was there experiencing their lives.  I especially enjoyed the dialogue and bantering between Lavinia and Nicholas.  I thought it was nice that the class difference, Lavinia is the daughter of a minister, didn’t make a difference to either of them.  It did matter to many of the other people in the village.

There were many surprises in this book, but you’ll have to read it to find out more.  You won’t be able to put it down.

There is another book in the series, The Captivating Lady Charlotte, coming in the future.  I can’t wait.  I’m sure I’ll be writing a review, so stay tuned. 

Disclosure of Material Connection- I received The Elusive Miss Ellison, by Carolyn Miller, 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, March 17, 2017

Under an Open Heaven by John E. Johnson (Book Review!)

Under an Open Heaven: A New Way of Live Revealed in John’s Gospel

by John E. Johnson

(received in exchange for an honest review)

Under an Open Heaven

Genre- Nonfiction / Religion / Christian Life

Published by- Kregel Publications

Copyrighted- 2017

Number of pages- 264

Age Group- Adult

Description of book- paperback, listed price- $15.99, ISBN 978-0-8254-4408-1

Do you feel frustrated and needing more?  John E. Johnson has written this book to show us how the gospel of John relates to us today. 

Each chapter of the book is based different conversations in John and has thought provoking questions.  The end of the book has a conclusion, notes, bibliography, and section about John E. Johnson.

About the Author-

John E. Johnson is married, has two children, and currently lives in Washington and Oregon.  He has been a pastor and professor around the world.  He has a blog at www.drjohnejohnson.com.

My thoughts-

I thought this was a book that many people will enjoy and learn from.  Although the writing of this book seems disrespectful at times, it is easy to understand and it helped me delve into the book of John. 

I liked the questions at the end of each chapter.  When books have questions at the end of each chapter, I learn and remember more.  I do wish that the large group of verses mentioned at the beginning of each chapter had been in the book.  It’s easier to refer back to verses when they are in the book.

I liked the subject of each chapter.  They began “Life is About,” then continued with subjects such as:

  • Dismantling barriers
  • Being set free
  • Seeing the light
  • Living by God’s timing and purpose
  • Moving with the Spirit
  • Expanding one’s vision

I would recommend that you read this book, but remember to study your Bible and come to your own conclusions. 

Disclosure of Material Connection- I received Under an Open Heaven: A New Way of Life Revealed in John’s Gospel, by John E. Johnson, 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.