Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Magic Of Motherhood The Good Stuff, the Hard Stuff, and Everything In Between By Ashlee Gadd

Magic Of Motherhood The Good Stuff, the Hard Stuff, and Everything In Between By Ashlee Gadd 

About: 
The Magic of Motherhood celebrates your life as a mom—the good stuff, the hard stuff, and everything in between.
From the writers behind the popular blog Coffee + Crumbs comes a beautiful new book to remind you of your identity, both as a woman and as a mother.
Motherhood can often feel overwhelming and isolating. You find your feelings swinging between joy and uncertainty, intense love and anxiety, laughter and tears. Through it all, you constantly ask yourself, “Am I the only one who feels this way?” The Magic of Motherhood will reassure you that you’re not alone. Full of encouragement, humor, and wisdom that will speak to you right where you are, The Magic of Motherhood is like a long-overdue coffee date with your best girlfriend.
In this book you’ll find heartwarming essays about identity, adoption, body image, miscarriage, friendship, faith, infertility, and more. The Magic of Motherhood is a curated collection of honest stories that weave together the love, joy, and magnificent heartache of motherhood. Instead of offering advice, the writers offer something even better: their hearts.
The Magic of Motherhood is a love letter to mothers everywhere; it’s a story about the magic that happens in between calm and chaos, the joy that can be found in both beauty and mess, and the valuable lessons we learn about ourselves in between cups of reheated coffee and kitchen tables covered in crumbs.
Find a new strength, beauty, and sisterhood you never believed possible in The Magic of Motherhood, an inspiring and encouraging book written for an imperfect, trying-her-best mom just like you.
My Thoughts:
I love this book. First, let me say what draw me to review this book was the description. The book talked about being a mother without being perfect and that was something I wanted to know more about. With that said, I am not a mother, but I hope to be someday. I loved the way this book felt in my hands, the good stuff, the hard stuff and the in between stuff. This book felt raw, it felt light and it made me laugh. It weaved what I think is one of the most beautiful things in the world and the most hardest job that a woman will never get credit for, which is being a mom. AKA: Superwoman! The stories in this book are hopeful, they are written by story tellers filled with grace, joy, chaos and laughter. This book will provide a breath of fresh air to all moms. I encourage you to purchase this book for Mother's Day! Give this book as a gift. I loved this book and I'm not even a mother. Thank you Zondervan for providing me a complimentary copy. A positive review was not required. I give this book 5/5 stars. 

Friday, March 17, 2017

Snow Country (A Copper Island Novel Book 1) by Kristin Neva


Snow Country (A Copper Island Novel Book 1)

About:
JILTED THREE WEEKS BEFORE HER WEDDING, Beth Dawson escapes sunny California for the snowy Upper Peninsula of Michigan, where a young State Trooper challenges her to let go of her rules for Christian courtship. Her domineering mother chides her to stay single and wants her to talk her ailing grandmother into moving to Los Angeles. 

COPPER ISLAND averages over 200 inches of snow annually. The fictional towns of Douglass and Quincy mirror the actual towns of Houghton and Hancock, and although the names of businesses and persons are imaginary, the history, landmarks, and spirit of the region described in the novel are real. 

My Thoughts:
As a Michigander, I loved this book! It was sweet, romantic and the characters were great! I found this book to be very detailed with great character depth and I love the small town charm feel to this book, which makes me want to read the rest of the books in this series. I cannot wait to read the second book after this book. The author did a great job of the historical context too, which made this book that more enjoyable and I found Beth to be someone relatable. Overall, I think this book is a great romantic story and I highly recommend this novel. It is a quick, lite and lovely read.  I give this book 5/5 stars. A favorable review was not required and I was given a copy by the author for my honest review. 

About the Author:

KRISTIN NEVA grew up in an old farmhouse on Copper Island in Michigan's Keweenaw Peninsula where the hard-working, rugged residents persevere through harsh winter weather, sustained by friendship and family, surrounded by natural beauty. As an adult, she lived in the Chicago and Milwaukee areas for seventeen years before returning to her hometown with her husband and two children. 
Kristin’s first book, Heavy, co-authored with her husband, Todd, journeys through the first year after Todd’s ALS diagnosis as the Nevas struggle to find meaning, hold on to faith, and discover joy in the midst of pain. 

It is this life experience that brings authenticity to Kristin’s fictional works as she explores themes of love, loss, and faith on Copper Island. 

Learn more about Kristin and explore Copper Island at KristinNeva.com.

Thursday, March 16, 2017

You Are Free Be Who You Already Are By Rebekah Lyons

 You Are Free Be Who You Already Are By Rebekah Lyons 

About:
Have you bought the lie? Many of us do. We measure our worth by what others think of us. We compare and strive, existing mostly for the approval of others. Pressure rises, anxiety creeps in and we hustle to keep up.
Jesus whispers, I gave my life to set you free. I gave you purpose. I called you to live in freedom in that purpose. Yet we still hobble through life, afraid to confess all the ways we push against this truth, because we can’t even believe it. We continue to grasp for the approval of anyone that will offer it: whether strangers, friends, or community.
Christ doesn’t say you can be or may be or will be free. He says you are free.
Dare you believe it?
In You Are Free, Rebekah invites you to:
• Overcome the exhaustion of trying to meet the expectations of others and rest in the joy God’s freedom brings.
• Release stress, anxiety and worry, to uncover the peace that comes from abiding in His presence.
• Find permission to grieve past experiences, confess areas of brokenness, and receive strength in your journey towards healing.
• Throw off self-condemnation, burn superficial masks and step boldly into what our good God has for you.
• Discover the courage to begin again and use your newfound freedom to set others free.
Freedom is for everyone who wants it—the lost, the wounded, and those weary from all of the striving. It’s for those who gave up trying years ago. It’s for those angry and hurt, brilliant and burnt by the Christian song and dance. You are the church, the people of God. You were meant to be free.
My Thoughts:
Through personal stories, we see the way that God has brought freedom to Rebekah Lyon's life. This book is based off the book of Galatians Five with fifteen chapters that are the story of Rebekah's freedom journey. As I read this book, I couldn't help but think it was good, but it didn't grab me the way I thought it would. Maybe it's the season of life I am in or maybe I found the book to really just tell the story that Christ will and is the ultimate healer who despite all of our brokenness will heal each broken spot. This book is filled with wisdom and you feel like you're sitting down over coffee with with an old friend, but it did not speak volumes to me and because of that, I give this book 3/5 stars. Thank you to Zondervan for providing me a complimentary copy for review. A favorable review was not required. 


Wednesday, March 15, 2017

No Limits: Blow the CAP Off Your Capacity by John C. Maxwell

No Limits: Blow the CAP Off Your Capacity by John C. Maxwell

About:
#1 New York Times bestselling author John C. Maxwell's latest book will enhance the lives of leaders, professionals, and anyone who wants to achieve success and personal growth. We often treat the word capacity as if it were a natural law of limitation. Unfortunately, most of us are much more comfortable defining what we perceive as off limits rather than what's really possible. Could it be that many of us have failed to expand our potential because we have allowed what we perceive as capacity to define us? What if our limits are not really our limits? In his newest book, John Maxwell identifies 17 core capacities. Some of these are abilities we all already possess, such as energy, creativity and leadership. Others are aspects of our lives controlled by our choices, like our attitudes, character, and intentionality. Maxwell examines each of these capacities, and provides clear and actionable advice on how you can increase your potential in each. He will guide you on how to identifygrow, and apply your critical capacities. Once you've blown the "cap" off your capacities, you'll find yourself more successful--and fulfilled--in your daily life.

My Thoughts:

Have you ever wanted to become more successful or a better person? Are you stuck, looking for advice or just simply feel like you've reached your limits as a person and don't know any other way, well than I recommend you pick up this book "No Limits" by John Maxwell. He helps the reader begin to recognize areas in our lives where we cannot change the history, such as our family, birthplace or relatives, but we can change what we create. We are able to create our friends, homes, neighborhoods, jobs, etc. We can can create a better life and better self. 

What I love about this book is the ability to reflect at the end of each chapter with questions, which is perfect as you begin to look at the caps in your life. Maxwell also talks about our ability to possess energy, emotional, people, creative, production, leadership and thinking capacity, which all of these things help us with the choices in our life, which ultimately maximizes or minimizes our capacity, depending on what we choose. This book will help you choose whether you want to live in the moment or whether you want to think about the future.

Maxwell challenges the reader about their thinking and to take responsibility for their lives by respecting oneself. Personal growth must be important, especially if you want to grow and live a better life. Age should be no limit to the life and capacity that is within each one us. However, if you want to grow, you will be challenge and you will step out of your comfort zone and Maxwell makes no qualms about that. 

Overall, I really enjoyed this book and the ability learn about the areas in my life where I could expand my capacity. I give this book 5/5 stars. Thank you to the Hachette group a division of Faith Words for sending me a review copy. A positive review was not required. 


About the Author:
John C. Maxwell is an internationally recognized leadership expert, speaker, and author who has sold over 16 million books. His organizations have trained more than 2 million leaders worldwide. Dr. Maxwell is the founder of EQUIP and INJOY Stewardship Services. Every year he speaks to Fortune 500 companies, international government leaders, and audiences as diverse as the United States Military Academy at West Point, the National Football League, and ambassadors at the United Nations. A New York Times , Wall Street Journal , and Business Week best-selling author, Maxwell was named the World's Top Leadership Guru by Leadershipgurus.net. He was also one of only 25 authors and artists named to Amazon.com's 10th Anniversary Hall of Fame. Three of his books, The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership , Developing the Leader Within You , and The 21 Indispensable Qualities of a Leader have each sold over a million copies.


Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Claiming Noah by Amanda Ortlepp

  Claiming Noah by Amanda Ortlepp 


This riveting debut novel of psychological suspense explores the dilemmas that arise when motherhood and science collide. 

Catriona Sinclair has always had a well-developed sense of independence--in fact the one sore point in her otherwise happy marriage is her husband James's desire to take care of her. As she's often tried to explain to him, she took care of herself before she met him, and did a good job of it. But James has been especially attentive lately as they struggle to have a baby. They succeed at last through in vitro fertilization, but unwilling to risk the heartbreak of another miscarriage, they decide to make their "spare" frozen embryo available to another family. 

Diana and Liam Simmons are desperate for a child. Unable to conceive, they are overjoyed to learn that as the closest genetic match to the Sinclairs they are the recipients of the embryo donation. Diana's only concern is her mother's disapproval of IVF, but any doubts raised are quickly eclipsed by Diana's joy of being pregnant. 

As Diana is finding delight in every aspect of motherhood, Catriona keeps waiting for the rush of adoration she knows she is supposed to feel, but instead slips into a deep depression. Just as Catriona begins to find her way back to normalcy, one of the babies is kidnapped. Suddenly, all of their lives begin to unravel and intertwine, and none of them will ever be the same.


My Thoughts:
This is a unique and powerful story line that isn't quite like one I've read before. It will have many readers puzzled with the questions of in vitro fertilization and dealing with questions about ethics they thought they might not be faced with as a reader. I personally liked that this book challenged my beliefs even as it was told in a fiction way. It caused me to think and it challenged me. Do you think that storing thousands of embryos are okay or should one donate them to other couples? Should they be used for scientific research, should they be destroyed? What should happen to these embryos? These are powerful questions that at one point or another a couple who is experiencing in fertility may face. I also think this book portrays real life, especially when Catriona experiences post-partum psychosis, which a lot of women don't talk about due to shame. This book is written very well, in a compelling way that will have you tears and the reader will feel connected to each of the characters. Thank you to publishers at Center Street a division of Faith Words for providing me a complimentary copy for review purposes. A satisfactory review was not required. I give this book 5/5 stars.