Thursday, November 30, 2017

Staying Stylish Cultivating a Confident Look, Style, and Attitude By Candace Cameron Bure


Staying StylishStaying StylishCultivating a Confident Look, Style, and Attitude

By Candace Cameron Bure 

My Thoughts:

"Staying Stylish" by Candace Cameron is absolutely gorgeous! This is just a darling of a book! It is larger than your average size coffee table, but it isn't huge either, which makes it the perfect style guide book. It had a great hard cover with a beautiful gold foil and the pages are a beautiful glossy matte. This book is wonderful to feel as you flip through the pages, reading chapter to chapter.  

Know as DJ Tanner,  from Full House,  Candace gives an inside look into how she has cultivated a style that is her own. She gives great inside tips on how to purchase clothes, jewelry and pieces to come that will last many years. I loved hearing about how she purchases some pieces at a lower cost that our trendy and she spends more on classy items that will last a long time. Not only does she cover your style, she also shares tips about some of her favorite books, packing a suitcase, taking care of your skin, hair and even working out! This is a book about living well from the inside out and I love it! I found many of tips helpful and easy to incorporate into my routine and budget. 

Overall, I HIGHLY recommend this book! It is a great Christmas gift, especially for those Fuller House Fans out there! You'll love the feel of this book, the photos and the tips!

I give this book 5/5 stars. A favorable review was not required. 

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Renewed: A 40-Day Devotional for Healing from Church Hurt and for Loving Well in Ministry by Leigh Powers


34523662Renewed: A 40-Day Devotional for Healing from Church Hurt and for Loving Well in Ministry

Powers makes no qualms about writing from her personal experience with regards to ministry. She writes honesty, with transparency and with this rawness that I can relate to. She isn't willing to shy away from topics, but she Goes there! Which, I LOVE! We need more people who are willing to be brave! 
If we want to the church to heal, we need to be brave. She encourages readers to have personal reflection through contemplative questions that will help you dig deep, every single day for 40-days! This is probably one of the hardest and best devotionals I have worked through in a long-time because it isn't a feel good devotional. In fact, I loved every minute of it. It is very impactful, if you have a desire to grow, heal and are willing to do the heavy lifting to become more whole. 
I really enjoyed this devotional. A favorable review was not required. I give this book 5/5 stars. 

Monday, November 27, 2017

Called to Create: A Biblical Invitation to Create, Innovate, and Risk


34020311Called to Create: A Biblical Invitation to Create, Innovate, and Risk

About:

We were created by an infinitely creative God to reflect his love and character to the world. One way we do that is by continuing his creative work. In this energizing book, serial entrepreneur and bestselling author Jordan Raynor helps artists, entrepreneurs, writers, and other creatives reimagine our work as service to God and others, addressing such penetrating questions as 
- Is my work as a creative really as God-honoring as that of a pastor or missionary?
- What does it look like to create not to make a name for myself but to glorify God and serve others?
- How can I use my work to fulfill Jesus's command to create disciples?
- Will what I make today matter in eternity? 
To answer these questions, Raynor shares compelling stories from an eclectic group of 40+ Christian entrepreneurs, including the founders of TOMS Shoes, Charity: Water, Chick-fil-A, In-N-Out Burger, Guinness, HTC, and Sevenly, as well as nontraditional entrepreneurs such as C. S. Lewis, Johann Sebastian Bach, and J. R. R. Tolkien. Raynor's "show" rather than "tell," story-driven style makes you feel as if you are sitting at the feet of some of the godliest and most successful entrepreneurs of all time. 
Perfectly poised to reach today's growing creative class, this unique work restores God's position as the first entrepreneur, helping readers see the eternal value in the work they do today.

My Thoughts:
Have you ever read a book where you thought, Man this person is smarter than I am? That is exactly what I think of when I talk to people about "Called to Create." This book doesn't make you feel intimated, but rather it brings you on journey of a Biblical perspective of what it means to cultivate a Biblical foundation of creating and being an innovator in the business world. I love the idea that entrepreneur is anyone who takes risk to create something new for the good of others. We can all classify ourselves as entrepreneurs when we look at the definition this way. Whether you're making a new recipe for the first time or creating a document to share at work, you're doing it for the betterment of others. I love this! 

I also enjoyed the idea of creating and businesses being about furthering the Kingdom of God! I love that this book was about being Kingdom minded, which is so important and lacking in the business world today. This book is a mix of creating and business all in one. I highly recommend it! The principals and foundation it lays is outstanding. It is a great book for being a Christian, and creative entreprenuner! You will love this book. I give it 4.5/ 5 stars. A favorable review was not required. 

Pick up a copy HERE! 




Sunday, November 26, 2017

Interview with Kathleen Fuller + Giveaways!


Please Welcome, Kathleen Fuller to my blog today!!! 




Grab yourself a hot beverage,  a warm blanket, and a cozy chair; you as we embark on an interview about the woman behind some of our favorite Amish novels. 
Kathleen Fuller

How old were you when you started writing stories?
32. I'm a little unusual in that I never had the dream of becoming a writer, but when I discovered Christian fiction and at the same time asked God for a ministry, I felt led to try writing. I did take a correspondence writing course, went to conferences, and learned as much as I could about writing.

What interested you in writing Amish fiction? Do you live near the Amish/have plain relatives?

My interest developed when we moved to Ohio from Arkansas. I was interested in the culture even before I started writing. When the opportunity to write Amish fiction became available, I decided to go for it. I don't have any Amish or plain relatives, but I did make an Amish friend in Middlefield who helped me out with my first books. My background is Eastern Orthodox, although I'm Protestant now. The Anabaptist faith was something very unfamiliar to me, and I had to research and learn about it to get it right in my stories.

 I love learning this from you! I became inspired to learn more about the Amish community when I started reading Amish Christian fiction. Thank you for all of your research and passion for their culture and life. It has inspired me to become educated and educate others

What is your favorite Christmas tradition?
Eating! I'm serious. We don't have any long-standing traditions in my family, other than baking and eating Christmas treats. When my kids were young, we used to bake a cake for Jesus' birthday. That is one tradition I want to keep going. 


Kathleen, this is also a tradition in our household too! Baking a cake for Jesus is important to us too, so I love to hear that you do the same! 

Do you have lots of decorations for Christmas or keep it simple in your home?
Very simple. I'm not a great decorator, and I have eclectic taste, so I keep things to a minimum.

I am eclectic in taste too, but I can't keep the decorations to a minimum, I try hard, but aspire to be like you! 


What are some of your favorite Christmas songs?
I love traditional carols. O Holy Night and O Come Emmanuel are two of my all-time favorites.


Do you plan to write more Amish Christmas books in the future?
Maybe with the current series in writing? 
I don't have anything Christmas themed in the pipeline, but I would love to write another Christmas book. They're a lot of fun. In Words From the Heart (Mar. 2018) Christmas is mentioned, but it's not the focus of the story. You can see it below.

35491066
What a gorgeous cover it is! How many of you are excited to read this one? You are able to pre-order through Amazon by clicking this link, I have posted, especially if you are looking for a gift for someone, but aren't sure what that will be? You can pre-order it and tell them it will come in the spring! Readers love to know they are getting new books from their favorite authors, even if they have to wait! 


Thank you to Kathleen for joining us today! 

She also has a great giveaway and you don't want to miss it! She has some great giveaways on her blog, so don't miss it! Website









a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thursday, November 23, 2017

The Gift of Christmas Past by Cindy & Erin Woodsmall


THE GIFT OF CHRISTMAS PAST BY CINDY AND ERIN WOODSMALL



My Thoughts:

The Gift of Christmas Past by Cindy Woodsmall and Erin Woodsmall is a must read this Christmas season! From the beginning I was hooked at Hadley's story. From growing up in the foster system and then making a break for it because she was trying to do the right thing. She is such a hero and I often think how many of us would do the same thing she did? This story ended up so much better than I thought it would. And Monroe, he seemed initially like a jerk, but as the story furthered, I found myself rooting for him and actually, feeling sorry for the lifestyle he had to endure. I think this book is wonderful and it gives such a great perspective on life. I enjoyed the banter back and forth between Hadley and Monroe, along with the romantic tension. I read this book in one evening. I give this book 5/5 stars. A favorable review was not required. 



After nearly a decade of being apart, tragedy brings together Hadley and Monroe. Take a break from the holiday busyness and settle in for a story of young love lost and second chances in Cindy Woodsmall and Erin Woodsmall’s The Gift of Christmas Past. Years of secrets and anger beg to be set free as Hadley and Monroe try to push aside past hurts and find common ground in order to help the traumatized child and her family. Can the love of Christmas past drift into the present, bringing healing and hope for all?

{MORE ABOUT THE GIFT OF CHRISTMAS PAST}

The Gift of Christmas Past(Woodsmall Press, October 2017)
Arson wasn’t the only fire that ignited between them.
Promises shattered.
Lies spoken.
She was arrested.
He returned to the safety of his wealthy parents.
Almost ten years later, Hadley and Monroe are both specialists in the field of speech therapy. They meet again . . . thrown together to help a four-year-old-girl rendered mute after being rescued from a fire.
Years of secrets and anger beg to be set free as Hadley and Monroe try to push aside past hurts and find common ground in order to help the traumatized child and her family.
Can the love of Christmas past drift into the present, bringing healing and hope for all?
Cindy and Erin Woodsmall

{MORE ABOUT CINDY AND ERIN WOODSMALL}

Cindy Woodsmall is the “New York Times” and CBA best-selling author of eighteen works of fiction. She’s been featured in national media outlets such as ABC’s “Nightline” and the “Wall Street Journal.” Cindy has won numerous awards and has been finalist for the prestigious Christy, Rita, and Carol Awards. Cindy and her husband reside near the foothills of the North Georgia Mountains in Flowery Branch, GA. ||**|| Erin Woodsmall is a writer, musician, wife, and mom of three. She has edited, brainstormed, and researched books with Cindy for almost a decade. She is very excited about their first coauthored book.
Find out more about Cindy and Erin at http://www.cindywoodsmall.com.

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Colors of Christmas: Two Contemporary Stories Celebrate the Hope of Christmas by Olivia Newport


34380832Colors of Christmas: Two Contemporary Stories Celebrate the Hope of Christmas

My Thoughts:
Both Novellas are fantastic! Newport writes about topics that I think we all can sink our teeth in and say "this is what Christmas is truly about."Between loss and grief, can you find hope? Does Christmas have a way of helping those heal in the midst of difficult circumstances? Or can you imagine the loss of your friend who loved Christmas and what would you do without them? How do you get through the hard times? In both of these novella's the characters face difficult circumstances, but ultimately they find hope! These are two heart-warming stories that will show you the true meaning of Christmas. I give this book 4.5/ 5 stars. A favorable review was not required.


Olivia NewportAbout the Author:
Hello!
I’m imagining you. You walk past as I water my front flowerbeds and we wave. You check the time as we both stand in a long line at the grocery store. You sit in front of me in church. I’m at my table in the coffee shop and you’re at yours.

We may smile politely and move on with our separate lives. Or one of us may speak, a simple invitation to conversation, and the words flow between us.

Here the adventure begins. When we meet someone new, we never know where it might lead.

I’ve been married for over thirty years and have two twenty-something kids. We live in stunning Colorado at the foot of the Rockies, where the day lilies in my back yard grow as tall as I am. (No short jokes, please.)

Not every piece of my life is pretty, though. Some days I want to throw out whole chunks. But I am living each day looking for the grace of God to me, in me, and through me. Having your companionship along the way will help uncover a lot of great stories.

Worry Less, Live More God's Prescription for a Better Life By Robert J. Morgan


Worry Less, Live MoreGod's Prescription for a Better Life

By Robert J. Morgan 

About:
How do you bury worry before it buries you?
Worry, which is essentially a strain of fear, is a rational response to real pressures and problems. Life is harder than we expect, and even the Lord Jesus, the Prince of Peace Himself, admitted, “Each day has enough trouble of its own” (Matthew 6:34). He said, “In this world you will have trouble” (John 16:33). On one occasion, He even said, “Now my soul is troubled, and what shall I say?” (John 12:27). Our souls are easily troubled. The world and its trials seem to only increase.
In nearly forty years of pastoral counseling, Rob Morgan has seen a lot of changes in our culture. People are anxious, and everyone seems increasingly tense and taunt. We’re overextended, running on empty, and often running late. We’re worried and we’re weary. One moment we’re alarmed about global politics and the next we’re frustrated with a clogged commode or a cranky boss. Stress can have a way of keeping us on pins and needles from dawn to darkness.
In this book Pastor Morgan leads the way through the investigation of the Bible’s premier passage on the subject of anxiety. Philippians 4:4–9 is God’s most definitive word about overcoming anxiety and experiencing His overwhelming peace. Dissecting the following eight practices this vital passage promotes will help you to wage war on worry:
The Practice of Rejoicing
The Practice of Gentleness
The Practice of Nearness
The Practice of Prayer
The Practice of Thanksgiving
The Practice of Thinking
The Practice of Discipleship
The Practice of Peace
When we study and employ these practices effectively, we have the power to erase anxious thoughts and compose our minds with peace in any situation.

My Thoughts:
Worry Less, Live More God's Prescription for a Better Life by Robert J. Morgan gives what Robert believes as a Biblical answer to handling anxiety. In a society where prescription medication is prescribed the highest to treat anxiety, Mr. Morgan gives hands on solutions from a Biblical worldview to help those who are looking to experience the overwhelming joy and peace of God back in their lives. Coming from a ministry approach, he has seen a shift in society and those who walk into his office on a daily basis. He is all too familiar with the fear and life crippling thoughts Anxiety can bring. What I find very fascinating about this book is how he took the eight practices the reader puts into place from Philippians 4:4-9 and we get a great look at the life Paul led. The last portion of this book is a work book, so I recommend purchasing the book if you want to walk through and do it. Do not purchase for Kindle or Ipad. Having read other books on Anxiety through a Christian world view lens, I felt this book was a bit stretched. I think the author did well in providing practical solutions and allowing the reader to learn how to work through emotions. I don't think this addressed many of the deep issues behind anxiety, which is the reason why people look to books for help. The solutions are great, but the reasons behind the solutions are the reason why people need to fix it in the first place. Overall, I give this book 4/5 stars. I was not required to write a favorable review. All the opinions here expressed are my own. 

Children of the World Storybook Bible by Linda Washington


34448857Children of the World Storybook Bible

by 
About:
The Bible is the cornerstone of faith traditions around the world; here are 100 best-loved Bible stories presented in a beautiful hardcover edition for children aged 5 to 8. The stories are written in a manner that is appropriate for either a read-to-me audience or early readers, and the collection includes both Old and New Testament stories. The artwork that accompanies the stories is collected from children around the world, highlighting cultures across the globe and reflecting the diversity of visitors to the Museum of the Bible. Additionally, by showcasing the unique perspectives that children bring to their understanding of these stories, this collection will allow young readers to see the Bible as something with which they can personally engage.

My Thoughts:
"Children of the World" is a beautiful Storybook Bible illustrated by Children. What I love about this Bible is that it has the heart of Children in mind. The pictures are colorful, but they are realistic and with stories from the Bible, young children from all ages can read the text and comprehend it. I love that this did not leave out stories that many Children's Bibles often do because of the content. 
The country maps, table of contents places of index are great references and tools to teach your child how to navigate the Bible at a young age. This is just a wonderful Story Bible for Children eight and under. I give this Bible 5/5 stars. A favorable review was not required. 

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

What's the Bible All About? by Patricia A. Pingry, Pablo Pino


34448845What's the Bible All About?

by 

Monday, November 20, 2017

Love Welcome Serve: Recipes that Gather and Give by Amy Nelson Hannon


34523666Love Welcome Serve: Recipes that Gather and Give

About:
LOVE WELCOME SERVE is a cookbook of Southern comfort food from Amy Nelson Hannon, the owner of Euna Mae's, a destination kitchen boutique in Northwest Arkansas.

Having been a preacher's wife in the South for more than twenty years, Amy Hannon's heart for hospitality was established, confirming her long-held belief that people who are cooked for feel cared for. Modeled after her grandmother, Euna Mae, Amy's big-hearted lifestyle has become noticed by a disconnected world that is drawn to her mission of using food to love, welcome, and serve those around her. Amy encourages people to open their homes and their hearts, connecting with folks over food; and she offers home cooks simple, crowd-pleasing, comfort recipes, meals that can be prepared for whatever the hospitality affair. Recipes like Brown Sugar Chili over Cheese Grits, Cream Cheese Chicken Enchiladas, and Sam's Pulled Pork are perfect belly-fillers for gathering people in your home. And recipes like Comfort Chicken Pot Pie, Hello Dolly Brownies, and Layered Spaghetti Pie are ideal for giving to folks when they just need to feel loved. Combined with her refreshing enthusiasm and approachable recipes, Amy Hannon has ignited a passion in young cooks who are spreading their hospitality wings, and she has reignited that same passion in seasoned cooks who had forgotten how much joy comes from serving others. Love Welcome Serve, Amy's first cookbook, will encourage you to embrace hospitality so you can enjoy the life that happens when you make and serve food for your people.

My Thoughts:
Love Welcome Serve is such a beautiful and warm cookbook. These are the kind of recipes that make you feel at home and loved.  With every page turned, you can feel Amy's love for cooking and her heart for good meals with family. If you're just starting out cooking, not to worry, Amy gives such amazing tips on how to get started or even if you're a seasoned pro, you'll still pick up some tips and trades along the way. If you want to learn new recipes with basic tools, you've come to the right place. Get ready for seven chapters of recipes with gorgeous photos and southern charm. From sweet tea, to roasted honey balsamic Brussels sprouts, or chocolate peanut butter dream pie, this book will make your stomach growl and your grocery bill sky rocket, but you'll love this cookie book. 
This is the perfect gift for the cook in your life for Christmas or maybe someone who is recently engaged for a Bridal shower. The simple recipes and tips in this cookbook are amazing.  I love the Southern Hospitality and charm, especially being a northerner. This book is simply beautiful, yet simple Thank you to the publisher for a copy. A favorable review was not required. I give this book 5/5 stars and highly recommend you put this on your Wish List! 


Sunday, November 19, 2017

Wild and Wacky Things in the Bible by April Lotempio


34448835Wild and Wacky Things in the Bible

by 
About:
The Bible, particularly the Old Testament, is full of stories of strange and unusual happenings—strange because they are unfamiliar and unexpected and hard to understand. Frogs infest a palace. A donkey talks. Rivers turn to blood. These events may seem impossible, but the Bible says they all happened. This book will explore each weird and wacky event by looking at it through the lens of its cultural or theological relevance. And by pairing the story with engaging artwork, this collection will draw in even the reluctant reader.

My Thoughts:
What a great way to have your child learn about the Bible in short chunks who may have short attention spand or may need to learn in smaller bite size pieces. Or, may you're looking to have them teach you fun and amazing cool facts about the Bible? Maybe your child is one who loves to know unique things.. Whatever gifts and talents your child has been gifted with, Wild and Wacky Things in the Bible is a great book to have children 10 and under read. The color and pictures in this book are fantastic! It is book from the collection of the Museum of Bible books for Children. I highly recommend this fun and unique book. I give this book 5/5 stars. A favorable review was not required. 

Saturday, November 18, 2017

The Stable Cat's Christmas by Christina Vrba


34448872The Stable Cat's Christmas

by 
"The Stable Cat's Christmas" is a beautiful hardcover book that tells the story of a small cat who returns to the stable the night Jesus was born. What is unique about this story is how each of the animals in the story use their God give animal instincts to prepare for the King. It's a story for children of all ages to enjoy with beautiful illustrations. The pages are beautiful in this book and what is super neat or fun in the end is why Tabby cats have stripes. All and all, children of all ages will enjoy this fun story. It's a great story to remind your children they all have a gift to give to give the King and it's a great way to kick off the Christmas season by reminding them to prepare for the arrival of a king. I give this book 5/5 stars. Thank you to Worthy Publishing. A favorable review was not required. 

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