Friday, March 31, 2017

Quarter-Life Calling: Pursuing Your God-Given Purpose in Your Twenties by Paul Sohn

 Quarter-Life Calling: Pursuing Your God-Given Purpose in Your Twenties by Paul Sohn

About:
A young leadership expert guides fellow Christian Millennials on their quest to live and work meaningfully.
Even though he seemed to have achieved it all, including landing his dream job at a Fortune 500 company, throughout his twenties Paul Sohn struggled with feelings of inadequacy, emptiness, and disillusionment. Something was very wrong. Finally at twenty-eight, after much contemplation and a life-changing encounter with his mentor, Paul traded in his high-paying job and sought a more meaningful life. Now, having achieved a sense of happiness and fulfillment like never before, and after examining all that he has learned along the way, Paul wants to help young adults avoid the pitfalls he succumbed to, including madly chasing empty financial success. His goal is to help others pursue their God-given purpose, and in QUARTER-LIFE CALLING, he shares enlightening biblical insights and practical ways to make it happen

My Thoughts:
Calling all Millennials, those who are younger and those who are older, are still trying to figure out what "you're going to be when you grow up?" Stop looking! In Quarter-Life Calling: Pursuing Your God-Given Purpose in Your Twenties by Paul Sohn he talks about how during your twenties, that is when you will experience the crisis to find your sweet spot or calling as you try to climb the ladder in your career, but success isn't climbing the ladder. Do you want to know how've you really made success in life? Through having a relationship with Christ. It seems too simple right? It is that simple, but in our culture, that can be so hard and often we can lose that in translation with what the world defines as success. This book is so encouraging and I love how Paul reminds the reader to live for an audience of one. How many times are we living for an audience of everyone else? In the end we all have to give an account for the days of our life, not for anyone else, just for one, so let's make sure it's for an audience of one, not for everyone else. I also love all the reflection and questions in the back of this book. I don't think this book is just for the twenty something, I think this book is for any age. I think this book has great reminders no matter your age and I think in this culture, we can learn something from those who are younger and those who are older. I encourage you to pick up a copy and also to give this to those who may be at your church who are in their twenties trying to figure out what they are doing with their life. They might thank you later. I give this book 5/5 stars because I think this author is right on point! A favorable review was not required and I was given a copy by Faith Words.  

This book releases on April 4, 2017. Pre-order your copy today here!

About the Author:

Paul Sohn is the founder of QARA, an organization that empowers twenty-somethings to discover their God-given identity and calling. He is an award-winning blogger, leadership coach, and speaker. His blog has been ranked one of the Top 50 Leadership Blogs to Follow. Christianity Today has named Paul among the Top 33 Under 33 Christian Millennials to watch.




Thursday, March 30, 2017

Bite Me: How Lyme Disease Stole My Childhood, Made Me Crazy, and Almost Killed Me by Ally Hilfiger

 Bite Me: How Lyme Disease Stole My Childhood, Made Me Crazy, and Almost Killed Me by Ally Hilfiger

About:
Ally was at a breaking point when she woke up in a psych ward at the age of eighteen. She couldn't put a sentence together, let alone take a shower, eat a meal, or pick up a phone. What had gone wrong? In recent years, she had produced a feature film, a popular reality show for a major network, and had acted in an off-Broadway play. But now, Ally was pushed to a psychotic break after struggling since she was seven years old with physical symptoms that no doctor could explain; everything from joint pain, to night sweats, memory loss, nausea, and brain fog. A doctor in the psych ward was finally able to give her the answers her and her family had desperately been searching for, and the diagnosis that all the previous doctors had missed. She learned that she had Lyme disease-and finally had a breakthrough.

What she didn't know was that this diagnosis would lead her down some of the most excruciating years of her life before beginning her journey to recovery from eleven years of misdiagnosis and physical pain. She would need to find her courage to heal physically, mentally, and emotionally, and become the survivor she is today.

Set against the backdrop of the fast-paced fashion and entertainment industries, BITE ME shares the heartbreaking and hilarious stories that moved Ally forward on her journey from sickness to health. Its themes will be familiar to more than 300,000 Americans diagnosed with Lyme disease each year, many of whom, like Ally, wondered for years what was wrong with them. BITE ME offers readers hope and ideas for how one can transition from victim to survivor, and shares the spiritual principles and actions that have contributed to her wholeness as a human, mother, and international spokesperson against Lyme disease.


My Thoughts:
" Bite Me: How Lyme Disease Stole My Childhood " is a powerful memoir that I read in one sitting from start to finish. I could not put this book down because I was aboutely inspired by the personal journey that Ally was willing to take the reader on and how she displayed such determination during her young adult life. This book is amazing. I believe it is incredibly educational, worth your time and a powerful. It took eleven years for them to diagnosis and treat Lyme disease. While Ally had all the money, fame and high fashion industry at her hands, that could not save her. This book to me is an interesting parallel of how faith is such a huge part of my life and why in the end money doesn't matter. If you are looking for a book to center you and bring you back to reality, I recommend you grabbing this book. It will give you perspective about what is important in life and it will make you realize what is most important in life. Ally is an inspiration to all of us to have hope, strength  faith and determination in the day of adversity. Not only will this book give you perspective, it will educate you and make you more aware of going out in the woods or checking for ticks on your kids. It won't make you paranoid, it will make you educated, informed and wise.
 I give this book 4/5 stars. A favorable review was not required and I was provided a complimentary copy by the publishers for my honest review. 


To purchase a copy, head here! 






Wednesday, March 29, 2017

How to Be a Hepburn in a Kardashian World: The Art of Living with Style, Class, and Grace by Jordan Christy

How to Be a Hepburn in a Kardashian World: The Art of Living with Style, Class, and Grace by Jordan Christy


About:

Though fashions may change, certain things never go out of style--like your favorite little black dress that can take you from a business meeting to a dinner party to a night on the town. But what makes it work is not the dress, it's how you present yourself while wearing it. A woman who is polite, well spoken, gracious, charming, and thoughtful is always welcome-though such women appear to be in short supply these days! Despite the headline-grabbing antics of certain flashy celebutantes, most of us would rather have respect--for ourselves and from our family, friends, and colleagues.

In this fully revised and updated edition, you will learn how to:
Appear polished without sacrificing your personal style,
Develop skills and discover interests to boost your self-confidence,
Find your true friendships and make them stronger,
Date Mr. Right instead of hooking up with Mr. Right Now,
Land the perfect internship and your first job,
Have a fun night without the risk of a social media faux pas.

With this insightful guide you'll be loving life with style, class, and grace in no time!
 



My Thoughts:

In a world where today's fashion was yesterday's gossip, do you ever find yourself asking the question where to do I fit in? Am I enough? Is it okay just to me? Of course the answer is always , "yes." But in a world where we are bombarded with media, images and being told we aren't good enough, we often wonder if we should stand apart. If you've ever struggled to be who you are, you've found the right book. "How to be a Hepburn in a Kardashian World" by Jordan Christy is about having respect where often women throw it away like yesterday's fashion. This isn't one of those books about women standing up for themselves and they saying they are better than men, this about women understanding that they are precious, they should not throw themselves away on the culture of  today's society because that is the image the world is throwing our way. Jordan gives advice on how to have grace in modest attire, social media etiquette, how to work hard, being modest in beauty and having wonderful friendships. This book is tasteful like a big sister talking to her younger sisters in a graceful way and is perfect for anyone entering the workforce. It would be a great gift for a teenager or a woman of any age looking to having a little more style and class in their life. Not all patterns are in ladies and not all friends are in either, so choose wisely! This book was great and I will refer to it from time to time. I really enjoyed this book. I give this book 5/5 stars and a favorable review was not required. Thank you to Center Street for providing me a complimentary copy.  

"How to Be a Hepburn in a Kardashian World" releases on April 4, 2017. To pre-order your copy, head here! 



Tuesday, March 28, 2017

20 Ways to Make Every Day Better: Simple, Practical Changes with Real Results by Joyce Meyer


20 Ways to Make Every Day Better: Simple, Practical Changes with Real Results by Joyce Meyer

About:

#1 New York Times bestselling author Joyce Meyer shares powerful, practical ways to experience a new level of joy and excitement about life every day.

The traffic is backed up, the kids are screaming, and the car is making a funny noise again. Any one of these challenges can test our temperament and rob us of joy. Our impulse is to write today off and hope for a better tomorrow. However, this creates a hard pattern to break. One terrible day easily turns into many-and soon we're living a life far from what God has in mind for us. A new, transforming sense of excitement, happiness, and contentment in our lives is possible when we pursue God's goodness each day. In 20 WAYS TO MAKE EVERY DAY BETTER, Joyce Meyer shares biblical illustrations, actionable advice, uplifting stories, and the encouragement we need to start enjoying the life God created for us.

My Thoughts:
Having read my share of Joyce Meyer books, I found 20 Ways to Make Every Day Better a very simple and practical book that is straight forward with the word of God. My favorite chapter was Chapter 13 on Slowing Down. With the hectic rat race that we all live in, can we all take a few moments to slow down. Can we stop the multi-tasking, stop checking all of our social media in the morning and we can slow down our emotions before they get heated? I love the questions she asks of the reader in the beginning of the chapter because she asks us to stop and think if we need to slow down our lives. I'd like to think that I don't need to slow down my life, but the truth is, we all need to slow down our lives. One of her pieces of advice was to resist the temptation to overcommit and I think that is so true. I especially overcommit to so many different things and then don't have enough time to rest. She also says we need to check the pace of our life and are we constantly living under stress? Do you always feel like you're moving too fast? If you feel this way, you're life pace is too fast. My favorite part of this chapter was to turn off my electronic devices for a few minutes everyday. I think that my husband and I have adopted a model of getting on our social media for a little bit at a time each day and we have become really aware of not letting it consume our minds, but I love the idea of just shutting it down. What I loved about this book in general, is the simplicity of these things. I didn't feel overwhelmed to do them all at once, but I could take them in bite sized chunks! Each chapter ended with things to remember and suggestions to put into practice, which is practical application for our life, which I loved! This book would be great for a ladies book study, especially as their is a book study too! I really enjoyed this book and found it as a book to bring more abundant life. I give this book 5/5 stars. Thank you to Faith Words for providing me a complimentary copy. A favorable review was not required and all the opinions expressed here are my own. 




About the Author:
Joyce Meyer is a #1 New York Times bestselling author and one of the world's leading practical Bible teachers. Her more than 100 books have helped millions of people find hope and restoration through faith in Christ. Bestsellers include Living Beyond Your Feelings; Power Thoughts; Battlefield of the Mind; and The Confident Woman. 

Joyce Meyer's broadcast Enjoying Everyday Life® airs daily on hundreds of television networks and radio stations worldwide. She travels extensively, holding conferences throughout the year, speaking to thousands around the world. Joyce teaches on a number of topics with a particular focus on the mind, mouth, moods and attitudes. Her candid communication style allows her to share openly and practically about her experiences so others can apply what she has learned to their lives.

Her latest book, SEIZE THE DAY, is in bookstores everywhere. BATTLEFIELD OF THE MIND BIBLE releases January 2017.

Hachette Book Group has sold over 30 million copies of Joyce Meyer's books.

Sunday, March 26, 2017

Restoring Love by Jennifer Slattery


Restoring Love

About:
Mitch, a contractor and house-flipper, is restoring a beautiful old house in an idyllic Midwestern neighborhood. Angela, a woman filled with regrets and recently transplanted to his area, is anything but idyllic. She’s almost his worst nightmare, and she s also working on restoring something herself. As he struggles to keep his business afloat and she works to overcome mistakes of her past, these two unlikely friends soon discover they have something unexpected in common, a young mom who is fighting to give her children a better life after her husband’s incarceration.
While both Mitch and Angela are drawn to help this young mother survive, they also find themselves drawn to each other. Will a lifetime of regrets hold them back or unite them and bring redemption along with true love?

My Thoughts:
"Restoring Love" by Ms. Slattery can write a sweet romance story, but this story is much more than that. This book is about a gal, Bianca who is bitter, proud and needs the Lord more than anything. I love how the author weaves a story of faith while keeping the storyline intact between Angela and Mitch, but utilizing them to bridge a gap that is so necessary for Bianca. I love the character depth, the element of faith, the romance this book offers. It is a great novel that is clean and will have you turning the pages quickly. I read this book in one sitting from start to finish and highly enjoyed this book. It was my first read by Ms. Slattery and I look forward to many more. I give this book 5/5 stars. A positive review was not required and this is my honest opinion. 

About the Author:
Jennifer Slattery is the founder of Wholly Loved Ministries, and in that capacity, helps women embrace and live out who they are in Christ, find healing and restoration in His unfailing love, and enjoy the deep emotional and spiritual freedom only He can provide. (Go HERE to learn of upcoming Wholly Loved events.) She loves interacting with women and women’s group on a personal level and speaks locally and nationally on topics pertinent to women juggling all the demands and uncertainties in today’s fast paced, ever-changing culture. (You can find out more about her speaking endeavors HERE.)
Connect with her on Facebook, Twitter, or Pinterest.

As a multi-published author, Jennifer also has a deep love for story and has four novels out with New Hope Publishers with a fifth one releasing this winter. She’s a regular contributor to Crosswalk.comInternet Cafe Devotions and Christians Read. She  co-hosts Living by Grace, a modern-day “meet at the well” Facebook community. As a content editor for Firefly, a southern fiction imprint for Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas, she loves working with writers to help them strengthen their manuscripts and grow in their gifting. When not writing, you’ll likely find her at one of Omaha’s many coffeehouses.
 





Saturday, March 25, 2017

Only Love Today Reminders to Breathe More, Stress Less, and Choose Love By Rachel Macy Stafford

Only Love Today Reminders to Breathe More, Stress Less, and Choose Love By Rachel Macy Stafford 

About: 
Only Love Today is the inspirational read from best-selling author of Hands Free Mama, Rachel Macy Stafford. Millions of Stafford’s fans from her blog and her books find hope, challenge, and inspiration through her poetic and powerful short pieces on her blog. Only Love Today brings these pieces and many new, original entries together in a beautiful book based around the four seasons. From finding daily surrender in the autumn and daily hope in the winter, to daily bloom and daily spark in the spring and summer, you will always find fresh beautiful words for your day.
With a flexible, non-dated structure, Only Love Today is perfect to pick up at any time of the year and find hope and encouragement to address your current challenge or need – family, parenting, relationships, finding peace in a stressed out world. Stafford offers you strength and vision for a new and more connected way to live. This is a timeless book of inspiration to remember and live for what really matters.
My Thoughts:
"Only Love Today" is one of my new favorite non-fiction books. I adore this book. Instantly from the first chapter, your heart immediately feels lighter than it did the day before. As a wife who has struggled to just be or to let things go, this book has helped me breathe easier. As a person who loves to serve and never stops, this book has been made me thinking about stopping and wondering how to just be and to enjoy. Life isn't in the performance, but in the small moments that you don't get to ever have back. I am learning to just enjoy and just be. If you've ever struggled with the questions of am I enough, this book will make you know that you are exactly who God created you to be. I love the practical, heartfelt and simple tips. I feel like I am having coffee with Ms. Stafford over things in my life that matter and issues that keep arising. This book comes at a perfect time in my life and I love it. I give this book 5/5 stars because this book is for the mother, wife, single woman. It spans across for women of all ages, spaces and stages of life, which I can glean from. Thank you to Zondervan for providing me a complimentary copy for review. I was not required to write a positive review. 
About the Author:
Five years ago, Rachel Macy Stafford admitted the honest answer to the question that had been a long-time source of pride: "How do you do it all?" Rachel's answer was painfully simple: "I miss out on life, and what I miss I cannot get back." That very day, Rachel began her Hands Free journey to let go of distraction, perfection, and societal pressure to grasp what really matters in life. This life-long writer and certified special education teacher felt compelled to share her journey with others through the blog, "Hands Free Mama." Using her skills as a writer, teacher, and encourager, Rachel provides readers with simple, non-intimidating, and motivating methods to let go of distraction and connect with their loved ones. Rachel's work has been featured in USA Today, TIME.com, MSN.com, PBS.com, The Huffington Post, Reader's Digest, and hundreds of other online and print publications. Her blog currently averages two million visitors a month. Rachel loves being outdoors, baking, and doing acts of kindness for those in need with her husband and two daughters who inspire her daily.


Wednesday, March 22, 2017

We Stood Upon Stars Finding God in Lost Places by Roger W. Thompson


We Stood Upon Stars


Finding God in Lost Places

by Roger W. Thompson

Get Lost. . . and Find What Really Matters
 
We are made for freedom and adventure, friendship and romance. Yet too much of life is spent unfulfilled at work, restless at home, and bored at church.  All the while knowing there is something more. You’ll find some of life’s best moments waiting for you over a campfire, on a river—even in that coffee shop or brewery you didn’t know you’d discover along the way. It’s time to begin the search. 
 
In the literary spirit of well-worn tales about America’s open road, this poetic, honest, often hilarious collection of essays shows how to embark on adventures that kindle spiritual reflection, personal growth, and deeper family connections.
 
From surfing California’s coastlines, stargazing southwestern deserts, and fly-fishing in remote mountains of Montana, you’ll be inspired to follow the author’s footsteps and use the hand-drawn maps from each chapter to plan your own trips.  There you will hear God’s voice – and it may help you find what you’re searching for.

My Thoughts:

Set your sights on adventure and get ready to be still in the presence of God as you go on an adventure of a life-time with the one who is full of adventures. In the book "Finding God in the Lost Places" you'll love this collection of essays written by the author that is perfect as you begin to plan road trips for upcoming summer travel plans. I love how he tells the stories of his childhood or previous generations. I love how he talks about the stories of his children now. This book is fun and is creative. I love hearing how he sees the world through his travel experiences and as a person who loves to travel, I found this book to be inspiring and encouraging. This is definitely a book I will pull out this summer again for inspiration. I highly recommend this book if you are a traveler and give this book 4/5 stars. Thank you to the Publisher for providing me a complimentary copy for review purposes. 


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. 

The Hawaiian Quilt by Wanda E. Brunstetter, Jean Brunstetter


The Hawaiian Quilt by Wanda E. Brunstetter, Jean Brunstetter

About:
Join Mandy Frey as she and three friends leave their Amish community in Indiana for the trip of a lifetime to Hawaii. But when Mandy and one of her friends miss the cruise ship after a port of call on Kauai, how will they adjust and get back home? Find out in this brand new romance from New York Timesbestselling author Wanda E. Brunstetter, writing with her daughter-in-law Jean Brunstetter.







My Thoughts:
The cruise ship has left, and Mandy Frey is stuck on the island with Hawaii unsure how she is going to get home. However, God had a bigger plan. Between Ken, the bed and breakfast, celebrating Christmas and learning Hawaii traditions, Mandy and Ellen learn how to adapt to a new culture. This was a fantastic read and I couldn't believe that four Amish girls traveled to Hawaii. As a reader, this book was an absolute gem! You'll love the imagery in this book and don't miss the story behind the quilt that was missing for many years, will it turn up? I loved this book and did not want it to end, but loved how it did. I give this book 5/5 stars and HIGHLY recommend that you pick up this book. It is like any other book I have ever read as an amish book. It was very unique, which is why I loved it. If you are looking for a great read that is quick, I highly recommend this book! 

About Wanda:
A nationally recognized authority on the Amish community, Wanda E. Brunstetter has sold more than seven million copies of her fiction and nonfiction books. Wanda enjoys an uncommon kinship with the Amish and continues to visit their communities throughout the country. Her books have won numerous awards and topped several bestselling charts.

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. 


Monday, March 13, 2017

Home At Last by Deborah Raney

HOME AT LAST BY DEBORAH RANEY | BLOG TOUR AND AUTHOR CHAT PARTY

Conclude Deborah Raney’s Chicory Inn novels with the final book, Home at Last, a story of acceptance, trying to overcome differences, and love. Everything changes for bachelor Link Whitman one icy morning when a child runs into the street and he nearly hits her with his pickup—and then the girl’s aunt Shayla enters Link’s life. Can Shayla and Link overcome society’s view of their differences and find true love? Is there hope of changing the sometimes-ugly world around them into something better for them all?
Join Deborah on Thursday, March 23, for a live author chat party in her Facebook group with fun prizes to be won! Click the graphic below for more details and to RSVP. Hope to see you there—bring a friend or two who loves to read!
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{MORE ABOUT HOME AT LAST}

Home at Last (Abingdon, February 2017)
Why did their differences matter so much?
Link Whitman has settled into the role of bachelor without ever intending to. Now he’s stuck in a dead-end job and, as the next Whitman wedding fast approaches, he is the last one standing. The pressure from his sisters’ efforts to play matchmaker is getting hard to bear as Link pulls extra shifts at work, and helps his parents at the Chicory Inn.
All her life, Shayla Michaels has felt as if she straddled two worlds. Her mother’s white family labeled her African American father with names Shayla didn’t repeat in polite–well, in any company. Her father’s family disapproved as well, though they eventually embraced Shayla as their own. After the death of her mother, and her brother Jerry’s incarceration, life has left Shayla’s father bitter, her niece, Portia, an orphan, and Shayla responsible for them all. She knows God loves them all, but why couldn’t people accept each other for what was on the inside? For their hearts?
Everything changes one icy morning when a child runs into the street and Link nearly hits her with his pickup. Soon he is falling in love with the little girl’s aunt, Shayla, the beautiful woman who runs Coffee’s On, the bakery in Langhorne. Can Shayla and Link overcome society’s view of their differences and find true love? Is there hope of changing the sometimes-ugly world around them into something better for them all?

My Thoughts:
I loved the final installment of the Chicory Inn series and I am so sad to see this series end! Deborah Raney wrote a fantastic 5 novel set and if you haven't read them, I encourage you to purchase all 5 of them. It is not very often that I give a set 5/5 star ratings, but this is one that I LOVE! In this final book, Raney tackles an issue that could be considered to be taboo in our culture or could be considered normal depending on who you talk with. Regardless, I loved that she tackled it and I love how she handled the dynamics of marriage as is related to Shayla. I think this book gets at some of the heart of issues that Americans are facing today and I think this book is very relevant to real life, especially with steroypes. I highly recommend At Home At Last and give this book 5/5 stars. Thank you to the Publisher for providing me a copy. I was not required to write a positive review. 
Deborah Raney

{MORE ABOUT DEBORAH RANEY}

Deborah Raney’s novels have won numerous awards including the RITA, National Readers’ Choice Award, HOLT Medallion, the Carol Award, and have three times been Christy Award finalists. She and her husband, Ken Raney have traded small-town life in Kansas—the setting of many of Deb’s novels—for life in the city of Wichita.
Find out more about Deborah at http://deborahraney.com.

Sunday, March 12, 2017

And Still She Laughs Defiant Joy in the Depths of Suffering By Kate Merrick


And Still She Laughs Defiant Joy in the Depths of Suffering By Kate Merrick 

About:
 Kate Merrick examines the Bible’s gritty stories of resilient women as well as her own experience losing a child—a journey followed by more than a million on prayfordaisy.com—to reveal the reality of surprising joy and deep hope even in the midst of heartache.
Kate Merrick faced the crippling grief that life can bring when her five-year-old daughter was diagnosed with cancer. Three and a half years of suffering followed, accompanied by fervent prayer, hospital stays, emotional agony, and teeth-grinding fear. And in the end, her baby girl was gone.
How was Kate to believe again, to hope again? To find out, she turned to stories in the Bible of real women who dealt with pain and survived. How did Sarah, after twenty-five years of achingly empty arms, learn in the end to laugh without bitterness? How did Bathsheba, defiled by the king who then had her husband killed, come to walk in strength and dignity, to smile without fear of the future?
In And Still She Laughs, Merrick writes poignantly and transparently about finding joy in sorrow and shows how we—just like the ordinary women seen in the Bible—can rise above unbearable circumstances and live fully. In the middle of whatever hardships we face, we can smile, cry, and come away full—laughing without fear and eagerly looking for what is to come.
My Thoughts:
When I saw the title "And She Still Laughs, Defiant Joy in the Depths of Suffering" I knew it was a book I needed to read. As someone going through deep suffering I needed to understand the art and beautify of joy in pain. Suffering isn't fun and in fact, it isn't easy, but God tells us to consider it pure joy, and so I have been wandering trying to find out pure Joy. When Kate's child was diagnosed with cancer and eventually, her daughter passed away, Kate had to discover how to find Joy. She did it by looking into women of the Bible who suffered. It has given me a greater appreciation and knowledge for some of these stories that I did not know existed with this view point. Kate gets to the heart of the issue for most of us when she talks about how most Christians want a blessed life, but we want to skip the pain. We'd rather have a life that is comfortable and safe, rather than one that is hard. In the midst of hard, pain and suffering we can still find humor, joy and trust God. This book isn't for those who just have experienced pain, it's for those who have experienced loss, for those who are going through physical pain, for those who are looking for wisdom or for those are just struggling to stand. This is a book that will remain on my shelf for years and years to come and I will continue to pull out. I give this book 5/5 stars. I was not required to write a positive review.