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.

Friday, March 10, 2017

Courageous Love by Susan K. Marlow (Book Review!)

Courageous Love: An Andrea Carter Book (Circle C Milestones 4)

by Susan K. Marlow

(received in exchange for an honest review)

Courageous Love

Genre- Fiction / Historical / Christian / Young Adult

Published by- Kregel Publications

Copyrighted- 2017

Number of pages- 192

Age Group- Young Adult (12+)

Description of book- paperback, listed price- $9.99, ISBN 978-0-8254-4370-1

Life is going well for Andrea (Andi), but things will soon change.  She is having fun riding Shasta and spending time with wrangler Riley Prescott.  She’s with Riley when they find the fence cut near her brother’s calves.  Later on a brick wrapped in a warning is thrown through the window where they are having a party, cattle begin to die, and the horse barn catches fire.  Evidence points to criminals that Justin, her brother, had prosecuted.  Now they might want revenge.

What are Andrea and her family going to do?  Will Riley be able to save her from danger?

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-

As I think over the four books in the series, I notice there is a theme of trouble for the Carter family, but also peace with God and knowing life will get better.

Courage was the theme of this book.  The verse from the Bible was taken from Joshua 1:9.  It talks about courage and remember that God is always with you.  Andrea certainly needed courage when bad things kept happening to her family.  She especially needed it when she was taken by the criminals.  It was her ability to keep calm and try to figure her way out of the problems that made her a strong character and always has.

I recommend this final Andrea Carter book.  I hope you take the time to share it with young adults.  There are so many books that have been written that don’t have good values, so this one is a breath of fresh air.

P.S.  Even though it is the fourth book in the series, it is not necessary to read the other three first.  You will want to read all of the books about Andrea after reading this one.

My review of Heartbreak Trail.

My review of Thick as Thieves.

My review of The Last Ride.

Disclosure of Material Connection- I received Courageous Love: An Andrea Carter Book, 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.

Friday, March 3, 2017

Would you like to know? Collection by Tim Dowley and illustrated by Eira Reeves (Book Review!)

Would you like to know? Collection

By Tim Dowley

Illustrated by Eira Reeves

(received in exchange for an honest review)

Would you like to know  Collection

Genre- Christian / Juvenile /

Published by- Candle Books an imprint of Lion Hudson

Copyrighted- 2017

Number of pages- 168

Age Group- Young children (3-5)

Description of book- paperback, listed price- $12.99, ISBN 978-1-78128-327-1

This is a six book collection of picture books about different aspects of Christian life:

  • the Bible
  • Easter
  • Prayer
  • God
  • Christmas
  • Jesus

for young children.  Each book has an inscription section, fun illustrations, and a note for parents.  All the books can be stored in the sturdy cardboard containers that comes with the collection.

About the Author-

Tim Dowly writes and edits a new set of resources on biblical studies and church history.

About the Illustrator-

Eira Reeves currently lives on the Isle of Wight.  She has illustrated over 85 titles over the past 30 years.

My thoughts-

This was a cute and fun collection of books about Christianity.  I really liked all of the books.  The illustrations were eye catching and the text was perfect for young children. 

The book I thought could be better was about Jesus.  I didn’t think the part about God needed to be in there.  I thought that more could be included about Jesus’s life here on earth and his teachings. 

I liked that each book has some of the same characters.  I liked seeing the cat and the girl with the blue polka dot bow. 

This collection of books will help children become more interested in learning about Christianity.  I recommend it. 

Disclosure of Material Connection- I received the Would you like to Know Collection, by Tim Dowley and illustrated by Eira Reeves, 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, February 24, 2017

Control Girl by Shannon Popkin (Book Review!)

Control Girl:

Lessons on Surrenduring Your Burden of Control

by Shannon Popkin

(received in exchange for an honest review)

Control Girl by Shannon Popkin

Genre- Religion / Christian Life / Women’s Issues

Published by- Kregel Publications

Copyrighted- 2016

Number of pages- 216

Age Group- Adult (women)

Description of book- paperback, listed price- $14.99, ISBN 978-0-8254-4429-6

Do you feel the need to control everyone and everything?  Shannon Popkin has written a book a book about seven different women from the Bible who felt the need to control everything around them.

  • Eve
  • Sarah
  • Hagar
  • Rebekah
  • Leah
  • Rachel
  • Miriam

Popkin uses her story, the stories of others, and specific verses from the Bible.  She also includes discussion questions and prayers.

About the Author-

Shannon Popkin has blogged on her website ShannonPopkin.com and also on TrueWomen.com.  She is currently married, has children, and is a speaker and teacher.

My thoughts-

There were a lot of wonderful parts to this book.  I liked the short lessons about each of the women and the discussion questions.  It gave me a lot to think about.  I could see myself in several of the women.  I know that I need to change and no longer be a control girl. 

One of the best parts of Control Girl was all of the Bible verses that needed to be looked up and read.  There were several times that I was so caught up in the women’s stories that I read much further than I needed to.  I was really getting into the word of God.

This was a great book.  I highly recommend it to all women.  After reading it you will begin to become the woman God wants you to be.

Disclosure of Material Connection- I received Control Girl, by Shannon Popkin, 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, February 17, 2017

Deep Water by Christine Poulson (Book Review!)

Deep Water: One Mistake and You’re Drowning

By Christine Poulson

(received in exchange for an honest review)

Deep Water Christine Poulson

Genre- Fiction / Christian / Thriller

Published by- Lion Fiction

Copyrighted- 2016

Number of pages- 252

Age Group- Adult

Description of book- paperback, listed price- $14.99, ISBN 978-1-78264-214-5

An important lab book is missing.  The lawyer who was working on a case for Calliope Biotech is dead. 

Daniel Marchmont, patent lawyer, agrees to take the case.  Katie Flanagan works for the company and thinks that something unethical is happening.  Daniel and his wife are hoping that the results from the study will help cure their daughter from a genetic disord.

What will happen?  Will more people die?  Who is guilty?

About the Author-

Christine Poulson currently lives in in Derbyshire with her family.  She has a PhD after studying English Literature and Art History at the University of Leicester.  She has been a curator and a lecturer.  She has written fiction and non-fiction.

My thoughts-

The cover of the book can often sell or not sell the book.  Personally I didn’t like the cover of the book.  I thought the illustration of a needle and blood didn’t match with the title, Deep Water.  It made me not want to read the book.  I just ignored the cover of the book and just started reading.

I thought Deeper Water was very good about showing the way people truly are and can be.  Honor was all about having the results she wanted, not those that were right.  The person that I thought was guilty, Will, wasn’t.  He was a hero.

I liked how the Rachel and Katie were persistent  in pursuing the mystery.  They needed to learn about what happened to the lab book and who was harming the lab.  We need to always remember that even if people do wrong we need to forgive them.

Deep Water was an interesting book.  I would recommend it.

Disclosure of Material Connection- I received Deep Water, by Christine Poulson, 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, February 3, 2017

Oswiu: King of Kings by Edoardo Albert (Book Review!)

Oswiu: King of Kings (Book 3 of The Northumbrian Thrones)

By Edoardo Albert

(received in exchange for an honest review)

Oswiu King of Kings

Genre- Fiction / Christian / Historical

Published by- Lion Fiction

Copyrighted- 2015

Number of pages- 560

Age Group- Adult (Men especially)

Description of book- paperback, listed price- $16.99, ISBN 978-1-78264-118-6

Penda King of Mercia has killed Oswald King of Bernicia.  He wants to kill Oswiu, Oswald’s brother.  He isn’t able to.  He strings parts of Oswald’s body up, and that spot becomes sacred.  Oswiu sets off on a mission to bring Oswald’s body back.  He succeeds, but Penda and Oswiu are even more bitter enemies than before.

Who will live?  What will happen with their children?

This book also contains a synopsis for books one and two, a list of characters, glossary, and a historical note.

About the Author-

Edoardo Albert has written for Time Out, History Today, and Minerva.  He is also a historian.

My thoughts-

One of my favorite time periods to read and learn about is the 1800 American West.  My other favorite time period to read and learn about is the time around when King Arthur could have lived. 

Oswiu: King of Kings, was interesting.  I enjoyed learning more about one of my favorite time periods.  I did think that this book was a bit long.  I personally found the first 200 pages to take a long time to read.  It was after Oswiu married Eanflaed that it became more interesting. 

I enjoyed the historical note at the end of the book.  It was fun learning about the history that this novel was based on.  I found the character list a great help.  I needed it to help keep everyone straight, because a lot of the names seemed the same.  The map and pronunciation guide were helpful as well.  I was grateful for the synopses of Edwin: High King of Britain and Oswald: Return of the King.  I appreciate it when authors put them in their book series. 

My favorite character in this book was Oswine.  He had the opportunity to change history by killing Eanflaed.  He didn’t he listen to his conscience and to Aidan.  Albert did a wonderful job of writing this book from a historical point-of-view.  I highly recommend it.

Here is my review of Edwin: High King of Britain.

Here is my review of Oswald: Return of the King.

Disclosure of Material Connection- I received Oswiu: King of Kings, by Edoardo Albert, 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, January 27, 2017

The Seven Stories that Shape Your Life: Discover Your God Given Purpose by Gerard Kelly (Book Review!)

The Seven Stories that Shape Your Life: Discover Your God Given Purpose

By Gerard Kelly

(received in exchange for an honest review)

 

Genre- Nonfiction / Christian Living

Published by- Monarch Books and Lion Hudson

Copyrighted- 2016

Number of pages- 336

Age Group- Adult

Description of book- paperback, listed price- $14.99, ISBN: 978-0-85721-634-2

The Seven Stories that Shape Your Life

Do you ever wonder what your purpose is on this earth?  This book will help you begin to discover it.  Gerard Kelly has chapters about creation, vocation, limitation, formation, incarnation, and restoration.  It shows how to begin to connect with God and utilize the stories in the Bible.

About the Author-

Gerard Kelly and his wife live in France, where they are co-founders of the Bless Network.  He has written eighteen books.

My Thoughts-

This was a book that was filled with good and helpful information about learning my purpose in a life with God.  As I was reading I folded over many page corners, so I could go back and explore the given information.  I want to make sure that the information I was reading was biblically sound.  What I found was great.

I thought the chapters were really long.  I wish they were divided up into smaller chapters.  I did like the divisions in each chapter.  I think that since the chapters are more involved, that a longer summary at the end would be nice.  I did appreciate the summary that was there.  I would have also enjoyed having discussion questions.  Being able to think about and question what I read would be helpful. 

This was a good book.  I highly recommend it to everyone.

Disclosure of Material Connection- I received The Seven Stories that Shape Your Life, by Gerard Kelly, 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, January 20, 2017

The Kill Fee by Fiona Veitch Smith (Book Review!)

The Kill Fee

Book Two of Poppy Denby Investigates

By Fiona Veitch Smith

(received in exchange for an honest review)

The Kill Fee by Fiona Veitch Smith

Genre- Historical Fiction / Christian / Mystery

Published by- Lion Fiction

Copyrighted- 2016

Number of pages- 320

Age Group- Adult 

Description of book- paperback, listed price- $14.99, ISBN 978-1-78264-218-3

Poppy’s job as the new Arts and Entertainment Editor at The Daily Globe is going well.  There is an exhibition of Russian art at the Crystal Palace.  While she is there a guard is injured and a Faberge Egg is missing.  Soon after the exhibition several people are murdered.  People Poppy knows are some of the suspects. 

Will her job help her solve the murders, or will it put her in danger?

About the Author-

Fiona Veitch Smith currently teaches at Newcastle University.  She was formerly a journalist in South Africa and the United Kingdom.

My thoughts-

This book was filled with just as much excitement as the first one.  Poppy, Daniel, and Rollo were busy trying to get the news stories and solve the murders.  It certainly helped that they were in the newspaper business, so they knew how to ask the right questions and were inquisitive.  Poppy really enjoys getting all the details and solving the mystery.  I like the way she thinks.

There were extras that I appreciate.  I like the 1920s map of London, the list of characters, a historical note, and the list of books and links to more information about this time period.  I was glad that Smith told what she changed, so I wouldn’t assume what wasn’t true. 

There was the continuing romance with Daniel, the photographer from The Daily Globe, so I'm looking forward to reading the next book in the series.  I want to know if their relationship will grow or not. 

I recommend The Kill Fee to you.  I hope you enjoy it.  You don’t really need to read first book in the series first, but I do suggest you do read it at some point. 

Disclosure of Material Connection- I received The Kill Fee, by Fiona Veitch Smith, 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.