Friday, July 29, 2016

The Things We Knew by Catherine West

When their tragic past begins to resurface, can he help her remember the things she can’t?
After her mother’s death twelve years ago, Lynette Carlisle watched her close-knit family unravel. One by one, her four older siblings left their Nantucket home and never returned. All seem to blame their father for their mother’s death, but nobody will talk about that tragic day. And Lynette’s memory only speaks through nightmares.
Then Nicholas Cooper returns to Nantucket, bringing the past with him. Once Lynette’s adolescent crush, Nick knows more about her mother’s death than he lets on. The truth could tear apart his own family—and destroy his fragile friendship with Lynette, the woman he no longer thinks of as a kid sister.
As their father’s failing health and financial concerns bring the Carlisle siblings home, secrets surface that will either restore their shattered relationships or separate the siblings forever. But pulling up anchor on the past propels them into the perfect storm, powerful enough to make them question their faith, their willingness to forgive, and the very truth of all the things they thought they knew.

My Thoughts:
Having never read any novels by Catherine West, I really enjoyed this book. First, I think if you are looking for a summer read, I would put this book on your list. Second, I loved the story and theme of Grace mixed throughout the dysfunction of this family and I also loved plot twists, which was was enough to keep me on my toes. This book has a careful balance of good characters with depth that will pull you in, but also gives you these hidden secrets, which leads an overall interesting and beautiful story of family I give this book 5/5 stars as this was a new author for me and I really enjoyed the book. This is one that I will be thinking about long after I have finished it and cannot wait to get my hands on another story by Catherine! 
Thank you the publisher for providing me a complimentary copy for review purposes. I was not compensated for a positive review. 

About the Author:
Catherine West
Award-winning author Catherine West writes stories of hope and healing from her island home in Bermuda. When she’s not at the computer working on her next story, you can find her taking her Border Collie for long walks or reading books by her favorite authors. She and her husband have two grown children. Catherine’s novel, Bridge of Faith, won the 2015 Grace Award. Her new novel, The Things We Knew, releases July 12th, 2016, through Harper Collins Christian Publishing.
Catherine loves to connect with her readers and can be reached at Catherine@catherinejwest.com


Tuesday, July 26, 2016

If My Husband Would Change, I’d Be Happy: And Other Myths Wives Believe by Rhonda Stoppe


If My Husband Would ChangeLike most brides on their wedding day, you no doubt were filled with love for your husband and the hope of a happy life together.
But perhaps today, as the realities of life together have settled in, those happy expectations are going unfulfilled. And it’s tempting to think, “If only my husband would change, I’d be happy.”
That myth is but one of many that Rhonda Stoppe dispels in her easy-to-read exploration of what it takes to experience a truly happy marriage. In the process, she addresses such important topics as
—understanding your husband’s need for your unconditional respect
—rekindling the love that drew you to your husband in the first place
—refusing to believe the lie that you’d be happier married to someone else
—learning to be content in the midst of financial struggles
—thinking about sex from a biblical worldview
If you desire to rekindle the love and hope you felt on your wedding day, this book will go a long way toward making that dream come true.
Contains discussion questions and personal reflections at the end of each chapter.

My Thoughts:
This book is great book in the sense that Rhonda dispels a lot of myths, which I believe are important. She bases this book on scripture and the word of God, which is the most important thing when it comes to marriage. Don't be fooled by the title and think it's some self-help book to change your husband. It's about God being at the center of your marriage and keeping him the focus. I also think she has an incredible knack for bringing laughter and wit. She will want to make you be a better wife and a better mother if you have children. I love the practical wisdom and insight this book brings. I give this book 4/5 stars. Thank you to the publisher for providing me a complimentary copy for review purposes. I was not compensated to write a positive review. 

About the Author:
Rhonda Stoppe

{MORE ABOUT RHONDA STOPPE}

Rhonda Stoppe is the No Regrets Woman. She is an author and speaker dedicated to helping women live life with no regrets. With more than 20 years’ experience as a mom, mentor, and pastor’s wife, Rhonda’s wisdom and experience helps women discover significance in God and His specific purpose for their lives, connect biblical principles to everyday decisions, develop a loving marriage that others dream about, and influence the next generation by raising children with integrity.
Find out more about Rhonda at http://www.rhondastoppe.com.

Monday, July 25, 2016

Four Summer MUST reads by Amy Clipston

Are you looking for some good reads this summer? Maybe you looking for a new author or heading out on a vacation and need a beach read...Well, I have a few recommendations for you! 

Author, Amy Clipston is best known for her amazing ability to tell amazing Amish fiction. If you have never read The Kauffman Amish Bakery Series, I highly recommend it. It is my personal favor series on forgiveness, faith, hope, and grace. You will love the recipes Amy provides in each book and the characters, especially Rebecca in A Gift of Grace. This book is tremendous and will make think about the beautiful gift of life. I enjoyed the entire series, but this was my favorite.  



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 However, aside from her amazing Amish fiction writing, my favorite story of Amy's is her own personal journey when she writes her memoir entitled "The Gift of Love," where she shares their families personal testimony to God's grace and healing for a miracle. My second recommendation is "The Gift of Love" by Amy Clipston. This book is powerful, inspiring, and about the Kidney transplant her husband went through.
the gift of love


My Third MUST read by Amy  Clipston is "The Courtship Basket." In my opinion, Amy outdid herself in "The Courtship Basket" and took her writing to a whole new level. With Mike and Rachel, the reader feels this torn emotion between the two characters. It's the roller-coaster balance of emotions that keeps the reader salivating and wondering what will happen next. Is it friendship? Is it romance? What is it or is it nothing at all? 

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And finally, LAST but definately not least, I recommend reading " An Amish Market" with Amy Clipston's novella "Love Birds."Amy Clipston will steal your heart in "Love Birds" as you enter the quaint gift shop Ellie works at in Bird-In-Hand Pennsylvania only to convince her friend, Llyod to start selling his beautiful wooden birds. Despite Llyod's opposition, Ellie won't have it.  Ms. Cliptson writes a story about forgiveness, trust, and betrayal.  This story is lovely, and her attention to character depth, story plot, and smooth transitions will capture you from the beginning of the story till the end. Will love be in the works for Ellie and Llyod or did her mistake ruin her future?

An Amish Market


So, if you are looking for some great read this summer, I highly encourage you to pick up any of these books or any other books by Amy. 


Also, the first 100 readers who pre-order by 8/15 and submit their reciept will recieve a box of goodies from Harpercollins. You don't want to miss this book! I cannot wait for the next release of this book. 



Saturday, July 23, 2016

The Stream by James Robison

30807651About- The Stream:
Drills deep for the refreshing stream of life-giving water that must begin to flow freely if we are to restore the church and rebuild America, before it's too late.
Robison's campaign for 2016 and beyond is the restoration of the Christian faith and the renewal of an America whose foundings have eroded. The Stream charts a clear path to personal restoration and outlines a plan for spiritual revolution in our culture, values, morals, and in government.









My Thoughts:
"The Stream" is a book that is very relevant to the culture we live in now discussing  and recognizing that as a society we must fight for the values and freedoms we have that are being taken away from us. I also enjoyed the Biblical wisdom, practical advice, history, encouragement and honestly, it will give you a different perspective on the elections. Instead of talking negatively about the candidates, it will move your hearts towards praying for our nation, the world and our candidates. It is a fantastic book  that I really enjoyed. I give this book 5/5 stars. Thank you Worthy Publishing for providing me a complimentary copy for review purposes.

About the Author:

James Robison
James Robison is an American televangelist and the founder and President of the Christian relief organization Life Outreach International.

Sunday, July 17, 2016

Words to Live by- One Word a Week

About:
Words can make a difference in a conversation, in a day, and in a life. Fifty-two words are explored in five different devotions each week encouraging the reader to live more fully. This creative approach to daily devotions will renew both the mind and the spirit.










My Thoughts:
I love this devotional and the process of slowing down. The concept of focusing on one word each week. I love spending time reading the devotionals because they are so encouraging. This book is one that will help you change the way you think, speak and listen as you spend time focusing, praying and find one work in your quiet time with God. I think this book is very unique and inspiring. I give this book 4/5 stars. Thank you Worthy Publishing for providing me a complimentary copy for review. I was not compensated for a positive review. 

About the Authors:
Linda Gilden is an experienced writer, speaker, editor, writing coach, and Certified Personality Trainer. She is a prolific writer and the author of several books and over a thousand magazine articles. She speaks nationally many times throughout the year, is a frequent radio and television guest, and welcomes the opportunity to help others become better communicators. Linda lives in Woodruff, South Carolina.

Dalene V. Parker is an English and Creative Writing teacher who also loves to speak and write. Her work has appeared in Focus on the Family, Home Life, ENCOUNTER, WarCry, Journey and more. She is also the author of Christian Teachers in Public Schools by Beacon Hill Press. Dr. Parker recently earned her Ed.D. in Curriculum and Instruction with minors in Bible and Professional Writing. She lives in Spartanburg, South Carolina.

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Heart Made Whole

27840596Growing up as a preacher's kid, Gifford had been submerged in Christian culture for decades when she uncovered the truth--that there were broken parts of her heart that weren't on friendly terms with the God who lived inside. Through disappointments and traumas, she had learned to guard her heart from God, keeping her angry, entrapped, and disconnected. As struggles and hardships continued, she finally learned to run towards her relationship with God when things got hard, instead of running away from Him like she had in the past. The more that she did this--building her heart's capacity for intimacy and deep relationship--the more her heart began to heal from the inside-out. She teaches the reader to access the solution that's already living inside of them--the God who forever made their heart a home.


When trials and tragedy hit our lives in a fallen world, our hearts can get smashed to bits, and we end up putting God on trial and blaming Him for the mess. But Christa helps readers understand that they don’t have to live controlled by their circumstances – or angry with God. Instead, she provides powerful insight and practical steps to turn the painful fire that comes to destroy us into an unexpected friend that can produce our greatest healing.


The condition of the heart determines the condition of life—and the heart can be bound up and healed, producing freedom and abundant life. With personal workbook sections for each chapter Christa helps readers experience steps to turn their pain into the healing and wholeness available to every believer.

My Thoughts:

This book is an emotional journey that is raw, painful and healing. This book is such a tool for healing and I loved how authenticate Christa was writing this. The insight she provided in this book was simply unreal. As a social worker, this book will be tremendous to utilize in practice and to recommend to women. I cannot say enough good things about this. I give this book a 5/5 stars! 


Tuesday, July 12, 2016

The Reason By William Sirls + Giveaway

25855082WHAT DOES GOD LOOK LIKE?

Welcome to southeast Michigan and the small town of Carlson where faith, hope, and struggle are defined by the different faces of those who live there. An addict that sits at a bar to forget.

A mother whose five-year-old boy has leukemia.  Two doctors. An atheist haunted by his past and a brilliant young oncologist that places all her hope in the power of modern medicine. A blind pastor whose son hasn’t spoken a single word in thirty-eight years. 

But the minister sees by faith. He knows there are answers and believes that someone who cares is watching—someone with a greater purpose. Yet there is something he doesn’t know... that none of them know. In the midst of the ordinary and the devastating, there is a reason these lives will be changed forever. Lightning is about to strike.

The Reason opens with a thunderbolt and never lets up as it introduces us to everyday characters who are wrestling with questions: Where is God when bad things happen? Does God ignore the prayers of the faithful? The answer each character receives will astound readers while offering an unforgettable call to hope, to change, and to believe.

My Thoughts:

We've all had experiences in life that have left us asking "why me God," or "where are You in this?" William Sirls weaves together a story between characters of strong faith, no faith and those in between. Through Alex's road battling leukemia, we are taken along the up-and-down journey of struggle and hope - with God at the center of it. Through this child's battle with cancer, the author shows us the true miracles of life, and hope that is found in Him, despite going through some of life's most trying times. I enjoyed reading this book, and would highly recommend it to anyone looking for something greater in life. It seems our world has increasingly turned chaotic, and it's easy to question "where is God" today. As this book helps show, He's right in front of us. Pick up this book today!

I was not compensated for giving a good review, and was provided this book for review purposes only.

I am giving away two copies of this book. Please leave a comment with your name and email address. I will pick two winners by Sunday, July 17, 2016. Have a great day! 


Friday, July 8, 2016

Between Us Girls by Trish Donohue

Between Us Girls emailBetween Us Girls: Walks and Talks for Moms and Daughters 
You feel more than mommy guilt.
You feel a deep and growing conviction that you must do something to disciple your daughter. But what? How can a busy mom make sure that her daughter learns about the most important things in life: what Jesus did for her on the cross and how to be faithful to him in this broken world?
Author Trish Donohue has been there, and that’s why she wrote Between Us Girls: Walks and Talks for Moms and Daughters. These twenty-six gospel-driven talks are a fun and easy guide for mothers who want to disciple their daughters but don’t know where to start. In each short chapter, moms and daughters read God’s Word, ask one another questions about their thoughts and experiences, get honest about their struggles with sin, brainstorm ways to live out their faith, and build genuine fellowship into their relationship.
Between Us Girls is more than a devotional; it’s a conversation guide, and the twenty-six “chats” are just the beginning. Ultimately, Donohue’s book teaches mothers and daughters a new way to communicate and starts them on a wonderful, lifelong journey of getting to know one another better and learning to love their Savior more.
Between Us Girls was written by a busy mom for busy moms, so no prep time is needed! Just schedule some time with your daughter, grab this book, head to your destination of choice, and cherish every moment you share with your girl.

My Thoughts:
Oh, I love this book! I can't wait to someday have girls of my own to have deep and meaningful conversations with. This book is one of those books that sparks conversations on feelings, appearance, attitude, change, fear, clothing, protection, etc. I love how this book is like a devotional that is meant between a mother and daughter or could even be used for a girls youth group discussion time where you could pull out one of these topics and bring it to a group of girls to discuss. It is relevant, it is real, but it communicates how girls should have a lifelong relationship with The Lord and I love it! This is a small book, but a complete book that is fresh air. If you've been looking for a book for a tween daughter, or teen daughter and haven't figured out how to navigate some waters, but want to do a 10 minute devotional at night with her, THIS IS IT! I LOVE IT! I give this book 10/5 stars because I think it is fabulous. I wish they had something like this when I was growing up! Thank you to the publisher and author for providing a complimentary copy for my honest review, which I have provided. 

Trish Donohue

{MORE ABOUT TRISH DONOHUE}

Tricia Donohue is a wife and mom who writes from her kitchen table in West Chester, PA. A desire to disciple her girls paired with a love for writing inspired this book. She and her husband, Jim, have two sons and two daughters. They attend Covenant Fellowship Church in Glen Mills, PA, where Jim serves as a pastor.
Find out more about Trish athttp://www.reminding-myself.com.


Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Don't go to Bed Angry by Deb & Ron DeArmond

Don't Go to Bed AngryDon’t Go to Bed Angry: Stay Up and Fight (Abingdon Press, June 2016)
A practical handbook on how to fight better—together—for your marriage.
In every marriage, there is conflict. And with every conflict, there is a choice for resolution. Will you ignore the issue until it seemingly goes away? Or will you work together to find peace?
In Don’t Go to Bed Angry, Deb and Ron DeArmond give you permission to fight. Conflict isn’t the problem, after all; the real issue is how we deal with the conflict. Deb and Ron demonstrate how communication through conflict can safeguard—and even strengthen—your relationship. Immensely practical features including worksheets and discussion questions make this a definitive go-to resource to help you start fighting—together—for your marriage.


My Thoughts:
In a world where it's easy to throw in the towel " Don't go to Bed, Stay up and Fight" is a book that is just about that- fighting for your marriage.  In every marriage each spouse comes in with baggage, their is going to be different styles of communication, barriers to work through, but ultimately this book is a tool to help married couples learn their martial conflict style. I liked this book and think it is a great resource and tool. I think it addresses a variety of issues in marriage and how to work through them with learning your martial conflict style. I think this book will set a lot of marriages free and will help bring light issues that many couples have been sweeping under the rug. I give this book 4/5 stars. Thank you to the publishers for providing me a complimentary copy.
don't go to bed angry-400

Deb DeArmond

{MORE ABOUT DEB DEARMOND}

Deb DeArmond is an author, speaker, and coach with a focus on communication, relationships, and conflict resolution. Her writing explores marriage, parenting, in-law and extended family relationships. She is the author of “Related By Chance, Family By Choice” and “I Choose You Today: 31 Choices to Make Love Last.” Deb is the founder of Living-Write, where she coaches aspiring authors. She’s monthly columnist and feature writer for Lifeway’s “Mature Living” Magazine, and has published more than 120 articles online and in print publications. ||**|| Ron DeArmond has a hungry heart for the Word, and has studied the Bible for 45+ years. Ron’s call to serve men is evident in his previous ministry positions with Christian Men’s Network under Dr. Edwin Lewis Cole and Faithful Men Ministry. Ron is currently the Associate Pastor of men’s ministry at Catch the Fire/ DFW and has ministered around the world. The DeArmonds live in the Dallas/Fort Worth area.
Find out more about Deb at http://debdearmond.com.

Sunday, July 3, 2016

The RingMasters Wife by Kristy Cambron


The Ringmaster’s Wife {MORE ABOUT THE RINGMASTER’S WIFE}

The Ringmaster’s Wife(Thomas Nelson, June 2016)
An ounce of courage. A split-second leap of faith. Together, they propel two young women to chase a new life—one that’s reimagined from what they might have become.
In turn-of-the-century America, a young girl dreams of a world that stretches beyond the confines of a quiet life on the family farm. With little more than her wit and a cigar box of treasures to call her own, Mable steps away from all she knows, seeking the limitless marvels of the Chicago World’s Fair. There, a chance encounter triggers her destiny—a life with a famed showman by the name of John Ringling.
A quarter of a century later, Lady Rosamund Easling of Yorkshire, England, boards a ship to America as a last adventure before her life is planned out for her. There, the twenties are roaring, and the rich and famous gather at opulent, Gatsby-esque parties in the grandest ballrooms the country has to offer. The Jazz Age has arrived, and with it, the golden era of the American circus, whose queen is none other than the enigmatic Mable Ringling.
When Rosamund’s path crosses with Mable’s and the Ringlings’ glittering world, she makes the life-altering decision to leave behind a comfortable future of estates and propriety, instead choosing the nomadic life of a trick rider in the Ringling Brothers’ circus.
A novel that is at once captivating, deeply poignant, and swirling with exquisite historical details of a bygone world, The Ringmaster’s Wife will escort readers into the center ring, with its bright lights, exotic animals, and a dazzling performance that can only be described as the greatest show on earth!
Learn more and purchase a copy.

My Thoughts:

Kristy Cambron brought an interesting read to the table. She brings the circus life to town with deep rich history. Her well thought out research makes The RingMaster's Wife come alive as the reader fully engages with the characters, the The Jazz age and The Chicago World Fair all colliding into one.  This story is very complex as Cambron does a beautiful job weaving in two stories into one, however, I do think at times it was hard to stay with it, but once I fell in love with Mable & Rosamund, I didn't let go. This story is a journey of love, performance, pasts, faith and making paths where there aren't any. Thank you to publishers for providing me a complimentary copy for review purposes only.  I was not compensated for a positive review. I give this book 4 stars.

Kristy Cambron

{MORE ABOUT KRISTY CAMBRON}

Kristy Cambron fancies life as a vintage-inspired storyteller. Her second novel, A Sparrow in Terezin, was named Library Journal Reviews’ “Pick of the Month (Christian Fiction)” for February 2015.
Cambron is an art/design manager at TheGROVEstory.com storytelling ministry. She holds a degree in art history from Indiana University and has nearly 15 years of experience in instructional design and communications for a Fortune-100 company. She lives in Indiana with her husband and three football-loving sons, where she can probably be bribed with a coconut mocha latte and a good Christian fiction read.
Find out more about Kristy at http://kristycambron.com.

Saturday, July 2, 2016

Like a River from Its Course by Kelli Stuart

Like a River from Its Course
Like a River from Its Course 
An epic novel exposing the ugliness of war and the beauty of hope
The city of Kiev was bombed in Hitler’s blitzkrieg across the Soviet Union, but the constant siege was only the beginning for her citizens. In this sweeping historical saga, Kelli Stuart takes the reader on a captivating journey into the little—known history of Ukraine’s tragedies through the eyes of four compelling characters who experience the same story from different perspectives.
Maria Ivanovna is only fourteen when the bombing begins and not much older when she is forced into work at a German labor camp. She must fight to survive and to make her way back to her beloved Ukraine.
Ivan Kyrilovich is falsely mistaken for a Jew and lined up with 34,000 other men, women, and children who are to be shot at the edge of Babi Yar, the “killing ditch.” He survives, but not without devastating consequences.
Luda is sixteen when German soldiers rape her. Now pregnant with the child of the enemy, she is abandoned by her father, alone, and in pain. She must learn to trust family and friends again and find her own strength in order to discover the redemption that awaits.
Frederick Hermann is sure in his knowledge that the F├╝hrer’s plans for domination are right and just. He is driven to succeed by a desire to please a demanding father and by his own blind faith in the ideals of Nazism. Based on true stories gathered from fifteen years of research and interviews with Ukrainian World War II survivors, Like a River from Its Course is a story of love, war, heartache, forgiveness, and redemption.

My Thoughts:
First, I must applaud Kelli Stuart for doing her homework and writing a very well-written, detail oriented and true story based on extensive research. This historical fiction is one not to miss this summer and in fact is one I intend to read again because the story does not leave you. Oh, the rawness, faith and redemption in this book are beautiful. If you like historical books, especially books that have to deal with World War II, I highly recommend this novel.  You will be moved with great emotion. I give this book 5/5 stars. Thank you to publishers for providing me a complimentary copy for review purposes. I was not compensated for a positive review. 

like a river - 400
About the Author:
Kelli Stuart
Kelli Stuart is the coauthor of Dare 2B Wise and has written for several brands including Disney, American Girl, and Short Fiction Break. She has served as editor-in-chief for the St. Louis Bloggers Guild and as a board member for the St. Louis Women in Media. In addition to her writing, Kelli has spent twenty years studying Ukranian culture. Kelli lives in Florida.