Friday, November 17, 2017

God's Wisdom for Women: Topical Scripture and Encouragement by Patricia A. Miller, Rachel Gorman


34020302God's Wisdom for Women: Topical Scripture and Encouragement

About:
Many people believe that the Bible has answers and encouragement for our lives--our questions, struggles, heartaches, and joys. But most people don't know where to find the answers within the pages of Scripture. People need a tether to Scripture and a map for journeying deeper and learning more from the Bible.
Organized by topic, God's Wisdom for Women is the perfect starting point for women to easily discover what God has to say about their lives and journeys. Within each topic readers will find truth from God's Word, encouraging quotes from leading writers, practical steps, and suggestions for further reading. More than 50 topics--such as decision-making, friendship, contentment, grief, worry, guilt, and social media--cover a range of experiences, hardships, and joys, allowing women to seek hope and encouragement from Scripture for themselves and others.

My Thoughts:
God's Wisdom for Women is a topical scriptural and encouragement, spiral bound book for women by authors Patricia Miller and Rachel Gorman. What I love about this book, is the several topics and the subtitles that are underneath each topic. Some of the topics include Daily Struggles, Knowing God, Lifestyle, Encouragement, Relationships, Difficult challenges, and more. It then unpacks more topics in expansion in various translations such as English Standard Version, NIV, NKJV, NLT, The Message and other translations. 
The cover is gorgeous and the spiral bound is lovely to study topics in depth. This is such a great tool and I love that this could be used in the counseling area with Christian counselors who are looking to refer to a Bible verse quickly, especially when in a session. I love that this has topical readings on social media, money, decision making and time management. This is such a great tool, I can't get over it! It's so easy to read and informative. I give this book 5/5 stars. A favorable review was not required. 

Thursday, November 16, 2017

The Secret Life of Sarah Hollenbeck by Bethany Turner

The Secret Life of Sarah Hollenbeck

by 
Becoming a Christian is the best and worst thing that has ever happened to Sarah Hollenbeck. Best because, well, that's obvious. Worst because, up to this point, she's made her very comfortable living as a well-known, bestselling author of steamy romance novels that would leave the members of her new church blushing. Now Sarah is trying to reconcile her past with the future she's chosen. She's still under contract with her publisher and on the hook with her enormous fan base for the kind of book she's not sure she can write anymore. She's beginning to think that the church might frown on her tithing on royalties from a "scandalous" book. And the fact that she's falling in love with her pastor doesn't make things any easier.

With a powerful voice, penetrating insight, and plenty of wit, Bethany Turner explodes onto the scene with a debut that isn't afraid to deal with the thorny realities of living the Christian life.


My Thoughts:

Honestly, I don't feel like my review can do this book justice. First, this book will make you laugh as Bethany Turner takes a character and uses whit, charm and humor to have her dialogue a character who is going through difficult stuff as a Christian and we are seeing it through the lens of Sarah Hollenbeck who is very comfortable with writing, but not comfortable with this Christian thing. This is a book that I could not put down because I was laughing out loud so much. You'll find humor, romance and fun sprinkled throughout this book.
I give this book 4.5/5 stars. I cannot wait for the next book and I was so impressed with this being the author's debut novel. This book should make your Christmas list! Thank you to the publishers for providing a complimentary copy. A favorable review was not required.


About the Author:
Bethany is a born and bred Kentucky girl who relocated to Colorado in 2001, three years after meeting the love of her life in a chat room, back before anyone knew that wasn't always a good idea. Thankfully, it worked out in this case, and she and her husband are the proud parents of two boys. In 2014 Bethany walked away from her career as a bank vice president to step out in faith as a writer. Since then, God has not only opened doors in the publishing world, but has also called her to full-time ministry serving on a church staff. She is an innovative systems administrator for a rural church that is passionate about reaching the unchurched.

Bethany's debut novel for Revell is a romantic comedy which stays true to her pop culture roots, and will be published in October 2017. Her home on the web is www.seebethanywrite.com.

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Dangerous Illusions (Code of Honor #1) by Irene Hannon


Dangerous Illusions (Code of Honor #1)

by 
Trish Bailey is on overload trying to deal with a demanding job, an ailing mother, and a healing heart. When a series of unsettling memory lapses leads to a tragic death--and puts Trish under police scrutiny--her world is once again thrown into turmoil.

Detective Colin Flynn isn't certain what to think of the facts he uncovers during his investigation. Did Trish simply make a terrible mistake or is there more to the case than meets the eye? As he searches for answers, disturbing information begins to emerge--and if the forces at work are as evil as he suspects, the situation isn't just dangerous . . . it's deadly.
Irene Hannon is the best-selling author of more than 35 novels. Her books have been honored with the coveted RITA Award from Romance Writers of America, the HOLT Medallion, the Reviewer's Choice Award from Romantic Times BOOKreviews magazine and the Daphne du Maurier Award for mystery/suspense. Irene and her husband make their home in Missouri, USA. Irene invites you to visit her at her website, www.irenehannon.com 

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Lady Jayne Disappears by Joanna Davidson Politano


Lady Jayne Disappears

by 
Joanna Davidson Politano freelances for a small nonfiction publisher but spends much of her time spinning tales that capture the colorful, exquisite details in ordinary lives. Her manuscript for Lady Jayne Disappears was a finalist for several contests, including the 2016 Genesis Award from ACFW, and won the OCW Cascade Award and the Maggie Award for Excellence. She is always on the hunt for random acts of kindness, people willing to share their deepest secrets with a stranger, and hidden stashes of sweets. She lives with her husband and their two babies in a house in the woods near Lake Michigan and shares stories that move her at www.jdpstories.com.

Monday, November 13, 2017

Why I Believe: Straight Answers to Honest Questions about God, the Bible, and Christianity by Chip Ingram

34020307Why I Believe: Straight Answers to Honest Questions about God, the Bible, and Christianity

About:
In our post-Christian, pluralistic society, responding to the perception that Christians are prejudiced, anti-intellectual, and bigoted has become a greater challenge than ever before. The result is often intimidation, withdrawal, and even doubts among God's people about what we really believe. Bestselling author and teaching pastor at Living on the Edge, Chip Ingram, wants to change that.



In Why I Believe, he gives compelling answers to questions about

- the resurrection of Christ
- the evidence of an afterlife
-the accuracy and intellectual feasibility of the Bible
- the debate between creation and evolution
- the historicity of Jesus
- and more

The solid, biblical, logical answers he shares will satisfy the honest doubts that every believer experiences now and then, and will provide practical, thoughtful answers that can be shared with family and friends. This is the perfect resource for churches, small groups, and individuals who long not only to really know what and why they believe, but also to be equipped to explain the intellectual justification for their faith in everyday language.

My Review:
It’s no secret that those who believe in Christ are increasingly judged by “the world,” and criticized for putting our faith in what the Bible says is true. Chip Ingram’s new book “Why I Believe” is a must-read for any Christian living today. He takes a very practical, and realistic approach to answering this question in the context of many scenarios we face every day.

In his book, Chip says he was a skeptic of Christianity growing up. After coming to faith in high school, his skepticism was met with overwhelming evidence. “It wasn’t intellectual evidence, but relational authenticity and love,” Ingram says in his introduction to “Why I Believe.”

As Americans, we are skeptical of everything we read, and we find ourselves questioning and wanting answers. This book is written to the one who is skeptical of Christianity, as well as the one who believes in Christ but wants deeper intimacy and relationship. I give this book 4/5 out of stars. A favorable review was not required.

About the Author :
Chip Ingram is the senior pastor of Venture Christian Church in Los Gatos, California, and president of Living on the Edge, an international teaching and discipleship ministry. A pastor for over twenty-five years, Chip has a unique ability to communicate truth and challenge people to live out their faith. Chip is author of twelve books, including Overcoming Emotions that Destroy; God: As He Longs for You to See Him; The Invisible War; and Love, Sex, and Lasting Relationships. Chip and his wife, Theresa, live in San Jose, California.

Saturday, November 11, 2017

Perennials By Julie Cantrell


Perennials

By Julie Cantrell 

About:
When two estranged sisters reunite for their parents’ 50th anniversary, a family tragedy brings unexpected lessons of hope and healing amid the flowers of their mother’s perennial garden.
Eva—known to all as Lovey—grew up in Oxford, MS, surrounded by literary history and her mother's stunning perennial gardens. But a garden shed fire and the burns suffered by one of her best friends seemed to change everything. Her older sister Bitsy blamed her for the fire—and no one spoke up on her behalf. Bitsy the cheerleader, Bitsy the homecoming queen, Bitsy married to a wealthy investor. And all the while, Lovey blamed for everything that goes wrong.
At eighteen, Lovey turns down a marriage proposal, flees from Oxford and the expectations of attending Ole Miss, and instead goes to Arizona—the farthest thing from the South she can imagine. She becomes a successful advertising executive, a weekend yoga instructor, and seems to have it all together. But she's alone. And on her 45th birthday, she can't help but wonder what's wrong.
When she gets a call from her father—still known to everyone as Chief from his Ole Miss football days—insisting that she come home three weeks early for her parents' 50th wedding anniversary celebration, she's at wits end. She's about to close the biggest contract of her career, the one that will secure her financial goals and set her up for retirement. But his words, "Family First," hit too close to home. Is there hope for her estranged relationship with Bitsy after all this time?
Eva's journey home, to the memory garden her father has planned as an anniversary surprise for her mother, becomes one of discovering roots, and truth, and love, and what living perennially in spite of disappointments and tragedy really means. Eva thought she wanted to leave her family and the South far behind . . . but she's realizing she hasn't truly been herself the whole time she's been gone.

My Thoughts:
Perennials is a book that I highly recommend. Cantrell weaves together a beautiful story of a woman's journey through pain, forgiveness and family and what it looks like to get on the other side of it all. I love that this book isn't easily explainable with answers as life often isn't. The characters go through unmistakable pain, which makes this book rich in plot, theme and character. Cantrell offers no easy solutions to the problems the character face. They are down right raw, real and frustrating In fact, in reminded me of family dynamics I have experienced in the past. This book doesn't disappoint, but you're going to have to go on a journey to get to the other side. If you enjoy fiction, you'll enjoy this book. This was my first read by Julie and I was blown away by her southern writing. I loved this book and all the gardening that came with it, and even it's Christian theme. I highly recommend this book. The pages will turn fast and you'll have tears in your eyes. I give this book 5/5 stars. A favorable review was not required. 


About the Author:


Julie CantrellJulie Cantrell is an award-winning New York Times and USA Today bestselling author, teacher, and speaker. She has served as editor-in-chief of the Southern Literary Review and has earned starred reviews by both Library Journal and Publishers Weekly. Cantrell is a recipient of the Mississippi Arts Commission Literary Fellowship and was named a finalist for the 2017 Mississippi Institute of Arts and Letters Fiction Award. Perennials is her fourth novel.

Friday, November 10, 2017

The Gift: The Amish of Hart County by Shelley Shepard Gray


{MORE ABOUT THE GIFT}

34217555

The Gift: The Amish of Hart County (Avon Inspire, November 2017)
A special Christmas story about love and blessings in the next book in the Amish of Hart County series
The Schwartz family is happy to be spending Christmas on their new farm in Hart County. But when Susanna Schwartz hears gunshots that causes her buggy to overturn, and then her little sister falls through a wooden bridge into the icy creek, it becomes clear from these dangerous “accidents” that someone wants them gone.
Neil Vance has been heartbroken ever since his parents lost their family farm. He knows it’s not the Schwartz family’s fault, but he can’t help but be resentful. Until he meets Susanna. She is kind-hearted and bold, and Neil can’t stop thinking about her pretty green eyes.
Neil thinks the accidents are just that, but Susanna’s father is convinced the Vance family is responsible. Susanna refuses to believe Neil would do anything to harm her. She’s fallen in love with him and knows he is a good man. But her family is ready to pack up and move, and time is running out to uncover the truth before someone gets hurt . . . or worse.

My Thoughts: 
The Gift by Shelley Shepard Gray introduces the reader to the Schwartz family has longed dreaming of owning their own farm and has recently purchased land in Kentucky. Little did they know the life they had dreamed of would not be they had expected. Rather than a warm welcome to their new home and community, they were greeted with nothing but coldness. The Schwartz family begins to experience anger, trust and is the target of someone who is out to get them. The community begins to reach out with kindness, and help, but with the many accidents are they able to trust anyone? 
This book will make you have so many emotions and wait till you try to solve the mystery of who is causing all of these mysterious accidents. The suspense of this book around the holiday season of this book is refreshing. You will not be able to put this book down! It unlike any other book I have read by Shelley. I highly recommend it and think this would make a great Christmas gift. I give this book 5/5 stars. A favorable review was not required. 
Shelley Shepard Gray

{MORE ABOUT SHELLEY SHEPARD GRAY}

Shelley Shepard Gray is a “New York Times” and “USA Today” bestselling author, a finalist for the American Christian Fiction Writers prestigious Carol Award, and a two-time HOLT Medallion winner. She lives in southern Ohio, where she writes full-time, bakes too much, and can often be found walking her dachshunds on her town’s bike trail.
Find out more about Shelley at http://www.shelleyshepardgray.com.

Thursday, November 9, 2017

Christy by Catherine Marshall’s



Some stories are evergreen, their themes and lessons standing the test of time and connecting with readers generation after generation. Reconnect with Catherine Marshall’s beloved Christy as it celebrates its 50th anniversary with a new edition! As nineteen-year-old teacher Christy struggles to find acceptance in her new home of Cutter Gap, some see her—and her one-room school—as a threat to their way of life. Her faith is challenged and her heart is torn between two strong men with conflicting views about how to care for the families of the Cove. Yearning to make a difference, will Christy’s determination and devotion be enough?
Celebrate the new 50th anniversary edition of Christy by entering to win one of TWO $50 Visa cash cards (details below) and by attending a Facebook Live party on December 5!
TWO grand prize winners will receive:
  • One copy of Christy
  • One $50 Visa Cash Card
Enter today by clicking the icon below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on December 5. The winner will be announced at the Christy Facebook Live Party. RSVP for a chance to connect with authors who’ve been impacted by Christy and other readers, as well as for a chance to win other prizes!

RSVP TODAY AND SPREAD THE WORD—TELL YOUR FRIENDS ABOUT THE GIVEAWAY AND FACEBOOK LIVE PARTY VIA SOCIAL MEDIA AND INCREASE YOUR CHANCES OF WINNING. HOPE TO SEE YOU ON THE 5TH!



{MORE ABOUT CHRISTY}


35879889



Christy (50th Anniversary Edition) (Evergreen Farm, October 2017)
New edition of Catherine Marshall’s inspirational classic!
The train taking nineteen-year-old teacher Christy Huddleston from her home in Asheville, North Carolina, might as well be transporting her to another world. The Smoky Mountain community of Cutter Gap feels suspended in time, trapped by poverty, superstitions, and century-old traditions.
But as Christy struggles to find acceptance in her new home, some see her — and her one-room school — as a threat to their way of life. Her faith is challenged and her heart is torn between two strong men with conflicting views about how to care for the families of the Cove.
Yearning to make a difference, will Christy’s determination and devotion be enough?
Learn more, get a free map of Cutter Gap, and purchase a copy.


My Thoughts:
Fall in love with the heartfelt, transforming timeless journey of Christy. This 50th Anniversary Hardcover edition is beautiful and one not to miss. While this isn't a light hearted journey, it is worth the journey and the reader will fall in love with Christy's determination to handle all obstacles and circumstances that come her way. Christy is a story of romance, hardship, adventure and historical fiction, which I love!

I also love that this book is about a real person, but having never read the book before I was stunned by the events that happened in this book. Due to the types of scenes in this book, I would recommend that it be read by someone who is at least 16 or that some of these scenes be skipped, or read with younger girls with explanation due to the nature of the content. 

I believe that Christy's Christian faith and her childhood upbringing is what kept her standing during the test of various circumstances. I would highly recommend this book, especially this 50th Anniversary hardcover edition. It will remind you of a strong story and how to handle difficult circumstances with faith. It will ignite your faith to remain strong. I give this book 5/5 stars. A favorable review was not required.

Catherine Marshall

{MORE ABOUT CATHERINE MARSHALL}

Catherine Marshall (1914-1983), “The New York Times” best-selling author of 30 books, is best known for her novel “Christy.” Based on the life of her mother, “Christy” captured the hearts of millions and became a popular CBS television series. Around the kitchen table at Evergreen Farm, as her mother reminisced, Catherine probed for details and insights into the rugged lives of these Appalachian highlanders. Catherine shared the story of her husband, Dr. Peter Marshall, Chaplain of the United States Senate, in “A Man Called Peter.” A decade after Dr. Marshall’s untimely death, Catherine married Leonard LeSourd, Executive Editor of “Guideposts,” forging a dynamic writer-editor partnership. A beloved inspirational writer and speaker, Catherine’s enduring career spanned four decades and reached over 30 million readers.
Find out more about Catherine at http://gileadpublishing.com/christy.

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Champion - Victory Begins in the Heart DVD Giveaway!!

ChampionChampion - Victory Begins in the Heart DVD Giveaway!! 

About:

Sean Weathers is a hotshot dirt track racer with a thriving career, adoring fans, and a loving daughter. Jack Reed is a successful businessman working to reconnect with his estranged son. When a single mistake results in tragedy, it leads the paths of these two men to cross, and an unexpected bond forms between them. Together, they must work through the painful journey toward healing. But as secrets are brought to light that threaten to destroy all hope, can they put their faith in God and discover a way toward redemption? Experience this story about the power of faith, love, and the true freedom of forgiveness.

My Thoughts:

Woah! This is a movie you don't want to miss. My first impression was that the 
beginning moved a little slow, but as I realized, the makers behind the film were developing the characters very early on for the viewer. Heavy character development begins at the beginning, so if you're wondering where the action is within the first 10 minutes, stay with the movie because it suddenly takes a turn that you did not see coming. This movie makes you believe that forgiveness in any circumstance is possible. It shows you the goodness of God and I think this movie is for anyone who has ever struggled with a relationship that did not know how it was going to heal. The main character Sean, made a bad decision and continued to do so, but in the end God writes his story and it was beautiful, but he had to fight to get there. The story on the track is where it started, but God showed him with a man who was completely broken, a little girl who needed him and a whole lot of forgiveness, anything is possible.  I give this film 5/5 stars. It is a christian film that your entire family can watch. I will say that their is a part of the movie where a child does have to go into a foster home and also a part of the film where their is a minor drinking scene, so if you do not want to expose your children to that, please advise. Neither of these scenes were distasteful or out of hand, but if your children are very young and you are not ready to have those conversations, then you might want to screen the movie first before having them watch it! 


GIVEAWAY DETAILS:

But here is some great news! I have a DVD to give away! Leave a comment about a situation where you've had to walk through forgiveness. A winner will be selected randomly by Random.org by November 17, 2017. Make sure to leave a comment in the section below with your email address and I will email the winner!!

Good luck! 





Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Well: Healing Our Beautiful, Broken World from a Hospital in West Africa by Sarah Thebarge


34523593Well: Healing Our Beautiful, Broken World from a Hospital in West Africa

by 
About:
Sarah Thebarge, a Yale-trained physician assistant, nearly died of breast cancer at age twenty-seven, but that did not end her deeply felt spiritual calling to medical missions in Africa. Risking her own health, she moved to Togo, West Africa-ranked by the United Nations as the least happy country in the world-to care for sick and suffering patients.
Serving without pay in a mission hospital, she pondered the intersection of faith and medicine in her quest to help make the world "well."

In the hospital wards, she witnessed death over and over again. In the outpatient clinic, she daily diagnosed patients with deadly diseases, many of which had simple but unavailable cures. She lived in austere conditions and nearly succumbed herself in a harrowing bout with malaria.


She describes her experiences in gripping detail and reflects courageously about difficult and deep human connections-across race, culture, material circumstances, and medical access.


Her experience exemplifies the triumph of surviving in order to share the stories that often go untold. In the end, WELL is an invitation to ask what happens when, instead of asking why God allows suffering to happen in the world, we ask, "Why do we?"

"Well" is a book that will have you in tears and unable to put it down. It is one of the most, moving powerful reads of 2017! Courageous, vulnerable and daring, Sarah took me from my comfort zone and made me realize the heartbeat of Jesus again. So often in the Western culture, we find ourselves being stuck in a consumerism mindset where everything is about "me or seeing what is best to move us forward," but Sarah challenges the reader to look at life in a different way, to look at people with compassion and to serve people well. 
Sarah is such a beautiful writer and instantly her story telling will captivate your soul. She is an engaging writer and you will wrestle with the content, but amidst the hard, you will the grace and see beauty for ashes. This book will get you to see the heartbeat of Jesus and have compassion on people like never before. I love that she begs the question we all ask ourselves during the mist of trauma, confusion or terror, "Why does God allow suffering?", but "Do we?" I cannot say enough good things about this book! I really enjoyed this book, despite the emotional journey it took me on. I have several pages ear marked and I was just broken over this book. I am still thinking of Sarah and this book days later. I give this book 5/5 stars. A favorable review was not required. Thank you to the publisher for providing a complimentary copy.