Saturday, February 17, 2018

Dreaming with God: A Bold Call to Step Out and Follow God's Lead by Sarah Beth Marr

35138430Dreaming with God: A Bold Call to Step Out and Follow God's Lead

by  Beth Marr
The world tells us that the way to make all our dreams come true is to set our own course and strive every day. But when it's all on us, we end up feeling exhausted, frustrated, and, disappointed when things don't turn out as we'd hoped. Have you ever wondered if there was a better way?

There is. God knows the desires of our hearts--he put them there. And he calls us to trust, to lean on him, and sometimes . . . to wait. Weaving together her unique perspective as a professional ballerina with profound truths drawn from Scripture and the life of faith, Sarah Beth Marr reminds us that we are not dreaming alone. If God has given us a dream, we can be sure that he will come alongside us as we work toward realizing it. Using her own story as a catalyst, Marr encourages women to surrender their plans to God, to stay in tempo with his Spirit, and to step into a deeper relationship with Christ. When they do, she says, they will be able to move confidently into the future, knowing that their dreams and God's desires are aligned in perfect harmony.

My Thoughts:
Dreaming with God is a breath of fresh air. This book had be grabbing my journal out and writing down all the thoughts that came to my mind as I was reading Sarah's words. I was praying and listening to the voice of God for His dream for my life and not my own. This book is captivating for every woman who wants to lean on their own understanding but longs to lean into their creators vision for their lives. As people who are broken because of the curse, we long for His plan and unity with Him. I love that this book helps you find purpose and meaning. This book is a source of great encouragement and will have you feeling more spiritually light. I love how Sarah weaves in advice and her own experience through dance to help the reader gently feel nudged by the spirit to the calling of God. This book is wonderful and a must read for different seasons of your life. I am keeping this one on the shelf. 
I highly recommend this book, especially to women going off to college or women in transition. It is a great source of strength and encouragement. I give this book 5/5 stars. 

About the Author:

Sarah Beth MarrSarah Beth Marr is a wife and mama whose passion is to encourage women in their journeys with the Lord through her writing, speaking, and teaching the Word. Sarah danced professionally for over fifteen years as a ballerina for Ballet Austin and Mejia Ballet International (formally known as Ballet Arlington.) Her dancing inspired her to begin a blog of devotionals for ballet dancers, which over time has evolved into a ministry of encouragement to women of all ages. Sarah’s first book, Dreaming with God – A Bold Call to Step Out and Follow God’s Lead releases in February of 2018 with Baker Books. 

Sarah loves to encourage women in their journeys with the Lord. She is passionate about bringing joy-filled, grace-filled, biblically-based messages to the hearts of women of all ages. Sarah teaches from her heart and her passion is to stir up women’s wonder of the Lord, to spur them on in their personal relationship with Him, to equip them with the Word, to inspire them to dream with God, and to send them out refreshed, encouraged, and inspired to lean into the grace of Jesus.

Friday, February 16, 2018

An Imperfect Woman: Letting Go of the Need to Have It All Together by Kim Hyland

35138431An Imperfect Woman: Letting Go of the Need to Have It All Together

Women are bombarded with ideas of perfection--and tips for how to achieve it--every day. From her work to her looks to her parenting, today's modern woman is expected to strive to be picture perfect in every way. As a result, calls for authenticity and imperfection are on the rise. Yet, deep down, most of us still want to achieve perfection. Why?

The desire to be perfect, says Kim Hyland, is actually a God-given urge. After all, we were made for Eden. But there is a difference between perfection and perfectionism, which is our attempt to achieve perfection on our own, by our own strength, and for our own purposes--the original temptation in the Garden. In this freeing book, Hyland offers women a stirring manifesto for acknowledging their limitations and embracing the perfection of God through his grace. This is a book for every woman who gives 110% and yet feels shame when one little thing goes wrong.

My Thoughts:
"An Imperfect Woman" is where God's grace and truth meets women in the point of their need. It is where we can say we are broken, we don't have to be perfect and we can lay it before the feet of Jesus. All of our failure, frustrations, and the things that don't make us whole, he invites us to bring to him, where He will make us complete. This book is like drinking coffee with a friend who is safe, warm and welcoming. I love the message of HOPE she brings for a person like me who is always striving in performance when Jesus never asked us to perform. This book was great for me and I will read it again. If you've ever struggled with perfectionism or anxiety, you will like this book alike, not because it's easy, but because the power of Christ in you, is at work and this book makes that message clear. This is a message that everyone woman needs to hear not just once, but in multiple seasons of their lives. I really connected with this book and found Biblical application. I give this book 5/5 stars. 

About the Author:
Kim Hyland Kim Hyland is a writer, a speaker, and the founder and host of Winsome, an annual retreat for women that celebrates authenticity, diversity, and truth. She is also the author of An Imperfect Woman: Letting Go of the Need To Have It All Together. Kim speaks at national retreats and conferences, where she encourages women by sharing her imperfect path and God’s perfect plans. Connect with Kim at her website

Thursday, February 15, 2018

Sweet Potato Soul: 100 Easy Vegan Recipes for the Southern Flavors of Smoke, Sugar, Spice, and Soul by Jenn Claiborne

35134103Sweet Potato Soul: 100 Easy Vegan Recipes for the Southern Flavors of Smoke, Sugar, Spice, and Soul

Jenne Claiborne grew up in Atlanta eating classic Soul Food--fluffy biscuits, smoky sausage, Nana's sweet potato pie--but thought she'd have to give all that up when she went vegan. As a chef, she instead spent years tweaking and experimenting to infuse plant-based, life-giving, glow-worthy foods with the flavor and depth that feeds the soul.

The result? Her first cookbook, SWEET POTATO SOUL, offering 100 vegan recipes that riff on Southern cooking in surprising and delicious ways, beautifully illustrated with full-color photography. Jenne revives the long tradition of using fresh, local ingredients creatively in dishes like Coconut Collard Salad and Fried Cauliflower Chicken. She improvises new flavors in Peach Date BBQ Jackfruit Sliders and Sweet Potato-Tahini Cookies. She celebrates the plant-based roots of the cuisine in Bootylicious Gumbo and savory-sweet Georgia Watermelon & Peach Salad. And she updates classics with Jalapeno Hush Puppies, and her favorite, Sweet Potato Cinnamon Rolls.

Along the way, Jenne explores the narratives surrounding iconic and beloved soul food recipes, as well as their innate nutritional benefits--you've heard that dandelion, mustard, and turnip greens, okra, and black eyed peas are nutrition superstars, but here's how to make them super tasty, too.

From decadent pound cakes and ginger-kissed fruit cobblers to smokey collard greens, amazing crabcakes and the most comforting sweet potato pie you'll ever taste, these better-than-the-original takes on crave-worthy dishes are good for your health, heart, and soul.

My Thoughts:
As a person who has had to switch my diet for autoimmune and a neurological situation, this book has been wonderful in giving me new ideas and inspiration for food. I love cookbooks that inspire me and getting me thinking outside of the book and that is exactly what "Sweet Potato Soul" does for me. I love that this book is based on a plant based diet, which is very helpful to me because I can eat most of it and this cookbook has simple, quick and easy recipes. I can make them in minutes. I love that it has southern flavors, but is so simple, which can be hard to find in a cookbook. This book is for anyone looking for healthy recipes or different ones. I give this book a 5/5 stars for its content, ease or recipes and variety .

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

The Sea Before Us (Sunrise at Normandy #1) by Sarah Sundin

35069215The Sea Before Us (Sunrise at Normandy #1)

Sarah Sundin

A mother of three, Sundin lives in northern California. She works on-call as a hospital pharmacist and teaches Sunday school and women's Bible studies. She enjoys speaking to community, church, and writers' groups.

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Can't Nothing Bring Me Down Chasing Myself in the Race Against Time By Ida Keeling with Anita Diggs

Can't Nothing Bring Me DownChasing Myself in the Race Against Time

By Ida Keeling with Anita Diggs 

Can’t Nothing Bring Me Down is the memoir of 101-year-old, world-record-holding runner Ida Keeling. Miss Ida, as she’s known throughout her Bronx community, isn’t your typical runner. Her fierce independence helped her through the Depression and the Civil Rights movement. But her greatest trials were yet to come.
Ida’s two sons were brutally murdered. Justice was never found. Ida felt like she didn’t have the strength to carry on and she couldn’t hope anymore. But encouraged by her daughter, Ida put on her first pair of running shoes at the age of sixty-seven and began to chase the paralyzing sorrow from her heart.
Running gave light and new energy to Ida, and since her first race nearly thirty-five years ago, she’s kept running and never looked back. Holding the world record for the fastest time in the 60-meter dash for the 95-99 age group, Ida isn’t slowing down. Now she gives us a clear picture of what it means to overcome obstacles.
Ida Keeling shares her inspirational story about growing up as a child of immigrants during the Depression and later raising four children as a single mother. She offers time-tested truths gathered from a lifetime of watching a nation change and from a life-long faith in Jesus. “Every night, I thank him for my many blessings, for his guidance, for his protection,” Ida says, “And every night he tells me, 'Miss Ida, you just keep on, because I ain't done with you yet."
My Thoughts:
"Can't Nothing Bring Me Down" is a great book about a Ida Keeling who is extremely brave. Running at 102, nothing will keep her down. She has been through some difficult things in her life and this memoir is a great testament to her faith, her life story and her determination to not give up on life. 
This book was a quick read. I read this book in less than two hours and found it to be quite inspiring. Ida shares about her childhood, her family and her children. This book will make you hold your children closer, it will inspire you to dream bigger and it will keep you moving forward in your life. I love that Ida is so real in this book. This is a book that isn't for the faint of heart, but for the person who can read real life style and be inspired by a woman who has turned lemons into lemonade. I truly enjoyed this book. 

Monday, February 12, 2018

Girl, Wash Your Face Stop Believing the Lies About Who You Are so You Can Become Who You Were Meant to Be By Rachel Hollis

Girl, Wash Your FaceStop Believing the Lies About Who You Are so You Can Become Who You Were Meant to Be

By Rachel Hollis 

With wry wit and hard-earned wisdom, popular online personality and founder of founder Rachel Hollis helps readers break free from the lies keeping them from the joy-filled and exuberant life they are meant to have.
Founder of the lifestyle website and CEO of her own media company, Chic Media, Rachel Hollis has created an online fan base of hundreds of thousands of fans by sharing tips for living a better life while fearlessly revealing the messiness of her own. Now comes her highly anticipated first book featuring her signature combination of honesty, humor, and direct, no-nonsense advice.
Each chapter of Girl, Wash Your Face begins with a specific lie Hollis once believed that left her feeling overwhelmed, unworthy, or ready to give up. As a working mother, a former foster parent, and a woman who has dealt with insecurities about her body and relationships, she speaks with the insight and kindness of a BFF, helping women unpack the limiting mind-sets that destroy their self-confidence and keep them from moving forward.
From her temporary obsession with marrying Matt Damon to a daydream involving hypnotic iguanas to her son’s request that she buy a necklace to “be like the other moms,” Hollis holds nothing back. With unflinching faith and tenacity, Hollis spurs other women to live with passion and hustle and to awaken their slumbering goals.
My Thoughts:
"Girl, Wash Your Face," is a book that I believe speaks to my heart because of the season I am currently in. Rachel Hollis is relatable and you can't help but enjoy this book. Her book isn't something that I don't think I haven't heard before, but the way she tells her book, is in a new way that is about the ways Rachel has walked hard stuff and how to turn your life around, so you won't make the same mistakes as her. 
What I love about each chapter of the book is how she exposes a lie she believed. We each can relate to these lies we've believed and through her own stories, she shares how she can to learn the truth, application, and offer actions steps. I love how she isn't afraid to be vulnerable to teach others what she has learned. Her life hasn't always been easy, but she wants to share her wisdom and for that I appreciate! 
This book is perfect for millennials, which isn't to say that older women could not benefit from this book, but this is definitely for a younger age group, which is why I think I enjoyed it so much. I think someone older in their 40's and 50's would have found that they already have figured out some of this stuff. This is a book that I will be reading again! I give this book 5/5 stars. 

Sunday, February 11, 2018

Why I Hate Green Beans: And Other Confessions about Relationships, Reality TV, and How We See Ourselves by Lincee Ray

35903615Why I Hate Green Beans: And Other Confessions about Relationships, Reality TV, and How We See Ourselves


My Thoughts:
Why I Hate Green Beans is a laugh out loud, quick non-fiction book. This book makes you feel like your sitting down over coffee with Lincee Ray talking about family, friendships, faith and relaity tv. shows. While she is all about fun and laughter, she also won't hide from talking about the hardstuff either. She is the best friend that you wished you had and she has the ability to make you feel right at home, all with a book in your hand. This book make me laugh, cry and allow myself to deal with my insecurities all while it not being too painful to handle. This book is great for your heart and will bring freedom to places you didn't know needed it. You will laugh a ton too! If you're looking for a best friend, a bowl full of ice cream and laughter, with a cherry on top, Lincee Ray is your girl! Grab a copy of this book. I give this one 5/5 stars. 

Saturday, February 10, 2018

Live Brilliantly: A Study in the Book of 1 John by Lenya Heitzig

35721802Live Brilliantly: A Study in the Book of 1 John


Friday, February 9, 2018

The Celebration (The Amish Cooking Class #3) by Wanda E. Brunstetter

35488766The Celebration (The Amish Cooking Class #3)


My Thoughts:
If you haven't read the Amish Cooking Class Series by Wanda Brunstetter, I highly recommend that you grab all three of these books. Each of these books are fantastic and I have enjoyed all of them! In The Celebration, you will reconnect with Heidi as another cooking class is about to take place. This time, she invites children to be apart of the classroom, which I personally found unique. The class is more for Marsha and Randy, or will it be for Heidi and Lyle too? Either way, Wanda handles the topic of foster care and adoption with sensitivity. I loved that this topic was written in this book and that it was handled with such grace. 
Wanda doesn't shy away from difficult emotions that the children display either or the way that Heidi has to handle them in her class. This makes the reader feel that it is a real and the characters are relatable. This was a great read that had a good pace, was enjoyable and had all the elements of a great story. 

About the Author:
Wanda E. BrunstetterNew York Times bestselling and award-winning author, Wanda E. Brunstetter is one of the founders of the Amish fiction genre. She has written close to 90 books translated in four languages. With over 10 million copies sold, Wanda's stories consistently earn spots on the nations most prestigious bestseller lists and have received numerous awards.

Wanda’s ancestors were part of the Anabaptist faith, and her novels are based on personal research intended to accurately portray the Amish way of life. Her books are well-read and trusted by many Amish, who credit her for giving readers a deeper understanding of the people and their customs.

When Wanda visits her Amish friends, she finds herself drawn to their peaceful lifestyle, sincerity, and close family ties. Wanda enjoys photography, ventriloquism, gardening, bird-watching, beachcombing, and spending time with her family. She and her husband, Richard, have been blessed with two grown children, six grandchildren, and two great-grandchildren.

To learn more about Wanda, visit her website at

Thursday, February 8, 2018

Gratitude in Motion: A True Story of Hope, Determination, and the Everyday Heroes Around Us by Colleen Alexander, Jenna Glatzer

35099573Gratitude in Motion: A True Story of Hope, Determination, and the Everyday Heroes Around Us


Wednesday, February 7, 2018

The Saturday Night Supper Club (Supper Club #1) by Carla Laureano

35525010The Saturday Night Supper Club (Supper Club #1)

Denver chef Rachel Bishop has accomplished everything she’s dreamed and some things she never dared hope, like winning a James Beard award and heading up her own fine-dining restaurant. But when a targeted smear campaign causes her to be pushed out of the business by her partners, she vows to do whatever it takes to get her life back … even if that means joining forces with the man who inadvertently set the disaster in motion.
What makes this book so unique is that first, it has to deal with food, which is something not a lot of authors write about. Ms. Laureano wrote this book with tact, and understanding of the food industry. Second, the aspect of friendship is vital in this book as well. I love that this is a huge premise for the book. We all want to live in community with one another. Finally, there is a romance, which we enjoy. I won't say a lot about this. 
The depth of the characters, the drama and the fast pace of turning pages of this book made it so enjoyable. The element of faith in this book was perfect. It wasn't forced, but it was just perfect.  Well done Ms. Laureano! I can't wait to read the next book in this series.  I give this book 5/5 stars and I highly recommend it!

About the Author: 
Carla Laureano

Tuesday, February 6, 2018

The Masterpiece by Francine Rivers

35605477The Masterpiece

New York Times bestselling author Francine Rivers returns to her romance roots with this unexpected and redemptive love story, a probing tale that reminds us that mercy can shape even the most broken among us into an imperfect yet stunning masterpiece.

A successful LA artist, Roman Velasco appears to have everything he could possibly want―money, women, fame. Only Grace Moore, his reluctant, newly hired personal assistant, knows how little he truly has. The demons of Roman’s past seem to echo through the halls of his empty mansion and out across his breathtaking Topanga Canyon view. But Grace doesn’t know how her boss secretly wrestles with those demons: by tagging buildings as the Bird, a notorious but unidentified graffiti artist―an alter ego that could destroy his career and land him in prison.
My Thoughts:
The MasterPiece by Francine Rivers is not to be missed! The two main characters, Roman and Grace will enter into your world and you will not be able to stop reading this book. It is note worthy to understand that I read this book cover to cover in one sitting. I was unable to put it down. However, I will say that anyone who has experienced signifiant trauma and has not healed from many of those events, I would caution in you in reading this book, especially if those are recent. This book can bring up strong emotions from the past or even the present and it would be a dis-service for me not to put that disclaimer in my review. That does not affect my review of this book in any way, but I do feel that it is necessary for readers to know. Between romance, tension, faith and real life, these characters are highly relatable. The story is a masterpiece all in its own work and one to be celebrated. I love how Francine writes this book and I think it is a an excellent book for fans of Ms River's books. If you have never read her books, I highly recommend grabbing this book and Redeeming Love. I give this book 5/5 stars. 

About the Author:
Francine RiversNew York Times best-selling author Francine Rivers began her literary career at the University of Nevada, Reno, where she graduated with a bachelor of arts degree in English and journalism. From 1976 to 1985, she had a successful writing career in the general market, and her books were highly acclaimed by readers and reviewers. Although raised in a religious home, Francine did not truly encounter Christ until later in life, when she was already a wife, a mother of three, and an established romance novelist.
Shortly after becoming a born-again Christian in 1986, Francine wrote Redeeming Love as her statement of faith. First published by Bantam Books and then rereleased by Multnomah Publishers in the mid-1990s, this retelling of the biblical story of Gomer and Hosea, set during the time of the California Gold Rush, is now considered a classic work of Christian fiction. Redeeming Love continues to be one of the CBA's top-selling titles, and it has held a spot on the Christian best-seller list for nearly a decade.

Francine and her husband Rick live in Northern California and enjoy the time spent with their three grown children and every opportunity to spoil their four grandchildren. She uses her writing to draw closer to the Lord, and that through her work she might worship and praise Jesus for all He has done and is doing in her life.

Sunday, February 4, 2018

Words from the Heart By Kathleen Fuller

Words from the Heart

By Kathleen Fuller 

Her fingertips brushed against something else in the box of doilies. She lifted a bundle of letters, neatly tied with a thin red ribbon . . .
Ivy Yoder hasn’t heard from John King in over a year. She knows it’s time to let go of the idea that they will one day marry, but she’s humiliated to be one of the oldest single women in her Amish community of Birch Creek. When quirky Cevilla Schlabach asks her to help clean out an attic, Ivy is grateful for the distraction.
Noah Schlabach isn’t from Birch Creek, or even Ohio. His job as an auctioneer takes him around the country and away from a typical Amish life, but he still remains devoted to his family. So when his aging aunt asks him to help clean out her attic, he agrees. Plus, who knows what curious items he might find up there?
As Noah and Ivy work side by side, they come across a different kind of treasure: a packet of letters written during the Korean War. Soon they are swept up in the story of two young people falling in love—even as they remain determined not to fall in love themselves.
Words from the Heart is a moving story of lost love letters, fragile fears, and the beauty of taking another step forward.
My Thoughts:
First, the cover of this book is more gorgeous in person than it is on the computer. It is stunning! Second, "Words from the Heart" is a book that will tug at your heart strings and emotions. It will deepen your faith and you'll be left wondering if faced with the same choice as Cevilla would choose the same? It is a book full of treasures, faith and love. It is a wonderful read that will tug at your heart. I love how Kathleen has taken something historical and has intertwined history within this Amish novel through letters. It is absolutely beautiful and completely classy. Out of all three book in the Amish Letters Series, this is my favorite. I recommend you reading all three, but they do not need to be read in order. They can be read as stand alone novels, but if you have the opportunity to read all three books, read them in order. They are awesome! I give this book 5/5 stars! You won't regret reading this book or series!
Order your copy here! 
About the Author:
Kathleen FullerBest-selling author of Amish fiction. Also a wife, mother, crafter, coffee addict, football fan, and chocolate aficionado.

Saturday, February 3, 2018

The Mayflower Bride (Daughters of the Mayflower #1) by Kimberley Woodhouse

35488764The Mayflower Bride (Daughters of the Mayflower #1)

My Thoughts:
I am very excited about this series and the research behind each book. The Mayflower Bride is a well through researched book and made me very excited about this time period. I think if you love historical fiction, you will surely enjoy this book because it is well written. The trials, the beliefs, the sacrifices and leaving their former life behind is the reality that many of these people faced, which is why I loved the research behind this book. More importantly, i loved that they stood for their beliefs and sought religious freedom. They wanted a new life and they were going to find it. I loved the element of faith in this novel. This book has a steady pace and the characters are great. I am looking forward to reading more of the books in this series. Each book is written by a different author and I think this was a great one to start off the series. I give this book a 4/5 stars. 
About the Author:
Kimberley WoodhouseKimberley Woodhouse is the best-selling and award-winning author of more than a dozen books. She is a wife, mother, author, and musician with a quick wit and positive outlook despite difficult circumstances. A popular speaker, she's shared at more than 2,000 venues across the country. Kimberley and her family's story have garnered national media attention for many years including ABC's Extreme Makeover: Home Edition, The Montel Williams Show, Discovery Health channel's Mystery ER, The Hour of Power, The Harvest Show, and over 1,000 other TV appearances and radio interviews. 

Friday, February 2, 2018

The Lost Castle (The Lost Castle #1) by Kristy Cambron

The Lost Castle (The Lost Castle #1)

Ellie Carver arrives at her grandmother’s bedside expecting to find her silently slipping away. Instead, the beloved woman begins speaking. Of a secret past and castle ruins forgotten by time. Of a hidden chapel that served as a rendezvous for the French Resistance in World War II. Of lost love and deep regret . . .
Each piece that unlocks the story seems to unlock part of Ellie too—where she came from and who she is becoming. But her grandmother is quickly disappearing into the shadows of Alzheimer’s and Ellie must act fast if she wants to uncover the truth of her family’s history. Drawn by the mystery surrounding The Sleeping Beauty—a castle so named for Charles Perrault’s beloved fairy tale—Ellie embarks on a journey to France’s Loire Valley in hopes that she can unearth its secrets before time silences them forever.
Bridging the past to the present in three time periods—the French Revolution, World War II, and present day—The Lost Castle is a story of loves won and lost, of battles waged in the hearts of men, and of an enchanted castle that stood witness to it all, inspiring a legacy of faith through the generations.

My Thoughts:
"The Lost Castle" is my first read by Kristy Cambron. Although she has written several other fiction novels, I was completely blown away by the details and character depth in the this story. Not only did the characters come to life, but she weaved in a story line of three different time periods, which can be a remarkable endeavor and she did it masterfully! This is the first book in three part triology and I just wonder how the other two books are going to be written because this book was amazing. After I was finished reading it, I kept thinking about the story line, and my brain would not let it rest. This is one of the books that you start reading and cannot put down until you have finished it. I loved this book and highly recommend you grab it. Make sure you have time to sit down and read it from start to finish. You will love it! 
About the Author:
Kristy CambronJESUS girl • Wife • Momma/3 boys • Vintage-inspired Author @TNZfiction & Bible studies @ThomasNelson • Friend to coconut mocha lattes #VerseMapping #storyroads

To stay connected, visit Kristy at: