Tuesday, July 21, 2015

7 Family Ministry Essentials: A Blog Tour and Book Review

About The Book:

With decades of ministry experience, Michelle Anthony and Megan Marshman capture the guiding essentials of life-changing family ministry.
These seven essentials for children and student leaders emphasize:
1. Empowering families to take spiritual leadership in the home
2. Forming lifetime faith that transcends childhood beliefs
3. Teaching Scripture as the ultimate authority of truth
4. Understanding the role of the Holy Spirit to teach and transform
5. Engaging every generation in the gospel of God’s redemptive story
6. Making God central in every biblical narrative and daily living
7. Participating in community with like-minded ministry leaders
7 Family Ministry Essentials will energize and equip you with the practical steps, inspirational stories, and biblical foundation you need as you lead those in your ministry.
About The Authors:
DR. MICHELLE ANTHONY is the vice president and publisher of learning resources at David C Cook and a popular speaker in the area of family ministry. She is the author of Spiritual Parenting, The Big God Story, and Becoming a Spiritually Healthy Family. Michelle has graduate degrees in Christian education, Bible and theology as well as over twenty-five years of family ministry experience. Michelle and her husband, Michael are the parents of two adult children and live in Colorado.
 MEGAN MARSHMAN is the director of student resources and production for David C Cook and has led and challenged thousands of students in their faith at Hume Lake Christian Camps. With a master’s degree in organizational leadership from Azusa Pacific University, Megan speaks nationally at churches, conferences, and university chapels. She and her husband, Randy, live in Long Beach, California.
My Review:
This is the book to own, read and apply to your life if you are in any way involved in a family ministry program in your church, or if you are in fact a parent. It is absolutely loaded with essentials that will allow a family ministry program to not only be developed and grow, but to also THRIVE! Michelle Anthony has been one of my favorite family ministry authors for a couple years now, and I am so glad that she and Megan Marshman have collaborated on this much needed book.
The book is first and foremost very well written, easy to read for any one but especially for those of us who are not in ministry, and is very well organized. The book covers so much and I found myself writing many notes as I read. It is absolutely one that I will share with those I know in family ministry but also one that I will keep in my personal library as a parent of two children. 
Overall this is an excellent book that reminds the reader that it it first and foremost the parents responsibility for the faith formation in their child, and, along with a great family ministry program, those children will be nurtured in this formation for a long time to come. Each chapter is completed with a ministry assessment and as well, there are many valuable tools to use on the authors website for the book. 
I highly recommend this book and give it a huge thumbs up!
BUY IT: You can purchase 7 Family Ministry Essentials online through Amazon. It is also available through your favorite Christian book retailer from David C Cook.
***I received a complimentary copy of this book, courtesy of LitFuse Publicity Group, for the purpose of review on this blog. All opinions expressed are my own and I have not been compensated in any other manner***

Friday, July 17, 2015

Picture Perfect Love: A Book Review

About The Book:

When image becomes everything, it’s up to love to refocus the heart.
Photographer Jenna Harrison wants every bride and groom to look picture perfect on their special day, putting her heart into every wedding to give the couple memorable images of their love. But her own heart is still broken, the unworn wedding dress hanging in her closet a reminder that relationships aren’t always as perfect as they look through her camera lens. But Jenna has faith that she will find true love. Until then, she must be patient and trust in God’s plan and His perfect timing.
Attorney Ashton Vance is the one that got away. When an embarrassing Photoshopped picture of put an end to his political aspirations, he blamed Jenna. So what if the photo led to his being offered a dream job and changing his life for the better? Jenna betrayed his trust, and two years later, Ashton’s heart still hasn’t recovered.
It was me. His younger sister’s three words turn Ashton’s world upside down. He must ask Jenna’s forgiveness, but can he risk his heart a second time? Even if Jenna can forgive him, dare he hope for a second chance at her love?
You can read an excerpt of Picture Perfect Love here.
About The Author:
Melissa McClone has published more than thirty novels with Harlequin and Tule Publishing Group. She has also been nominated for Romance Writers of America’s RITA® award. She lives in the Pacific Northwest with her husband, three school-aged children, two spoiled Norwegian Elkhounds and cats who think they rule the house.
My Review:
Picture Perfect Love brings to us the character of Jenna and her journey to a second chance at love. It was a quick read, as it the nature of a novella, and a fun read. So far this series has been so good and I cannot wait to read the rest of the series and see how main characters develop, are challenged and changed. Not only is a second chance at love a main theme, but so is keeping the faith and forgiveness. 
A great read that I highly recommend. 
BUY IT: You can purchase Picture Perfect Love online through Amazon. It is also available through your favorite local Christian book retailer from Zondervan.
***I received a complimentary copy of this book, courtesy of LitFuse Publicity Group, for the purpose of review on this blog. All opinions expressed are my own, and I have not been compensated in any other manner***

Monday, July 6, 2015

Love Arrives in Pieces: A Blog Tour and Review

About The Book:

For so long, Stella was known for her beauty. Now, with her heart stripped bare, she must discover who she really is.
Former pageant queen Stella Varland doesn’t trust beauty anymore after her divorce. Her appearance betrayed her and led to brokenness, so instead of being beautiful, now she tries to make beautiful things, but she always falls short. So she keeps her passion for art to herself and focuses on her interior design work. But if she doesn’t get another job soon, she’ll be stuck living with her parents.
Contractor Chase Taylor is determined to live a life of no regrets after losing his fiancée. Now he lives life at full speed, striving to see how much he can accomplish. He knows if he slows down, he’ll fall apart. So he returns home to Bayou Bend to renovate the town’s old theater and is shocked to discover that the designer for the project is his old flame, Stella.
Forced to work together, Chase and Stella battle their chemistry and past as they struggle to compromise and work together on a vision for the theater. Their wills clash as they attempt to hide their brokenness—and their unresolved feelings for each other—until Chase discovers the hidden parts of Stella, while losing her trust in the process.
A near catastrophe, a fire, and a small-town gossip mill finally force Stella and Chase to realize that they have a choice—to hold on to the shards of their pasts, or surrender their fragmented pieces to the One who makes a beautiful masterpiece from their brokenness.
About The Author:
Betsy St. Amant lives in Louisiana with her young daughter and has a heart for sharing the amazing news of God's grace through her novels. A freelance journalist, Betsy is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers. When she’s not reading, writing, or singing along to a Disney soundtrack with her daughter, Betsy enjoys inspirational speaking and teaching on the craft of writing.
My Review:
Once again, I am so excited to review a book from one of my favorite authors, Betsy St. Amant! Her new release, Love Arrives in Pieces is one of my favorites from her to date. The cover is what first drew me into the book, it is just so beautiful and romantic. When the main theme of a book is how God can make broken things beautiful, you know that there will be tears shed and angst throughout the book. There was drama galore, but I really liked the writing style and how relatable the characters were. The story started a little slow for my liking, however, it did pick up very quickly and it ended up being a book I could not put down! While Love Arrives in Pieces is a sequel to All's Fair in Love and Cupcakes (also a fantastic read!) it is not necessary to have read the first book, as this book does well as a stand alone novel. If you love a great, clean romance with a great message, this is is the book for you.
I highly recommend this book and give it a huge thumbs up.
BUY IT: You can purchase Love Arrives in Pieces online through Amazon. It is also available through your favorite local Christian book retailer from Zondervan.
***I received a complimentary copy of this book, courtesy of LitFuse Publicity Group, for the purpose of review on this blog. All opinions expressed are my own, and  I have not been compensated in any other manner***

Sunday, July 5, 2015

Taken: A Book Review

About The Book:

An investigator who knows tragic loss firsthand, 
and his new client, missing far too long...

Abducted at the age of sixteen and coerced into assisting the Jacoby crime family, Shannon Bliss has finally found a way out. She desperately wants to resume some semblance of normal life, but she also knows she has some unfinished business to attend to. She might have enough evidence to put her captors behind bars for a very long time. 

When Shannon contacts private investigator Matthew Dane, a former cop, to help her navigate her reentry into society, he quickly discovers that gaining her freedom doesn't mean her troubles are over. If the Jacoby family learns she is still alive, they'll stop at nothing to silence her.

If justice is to be done, and if Shannon's life is ever to get on track again, Matthew will need to discover exactly what happened to her--even if it means stirring up a hornet's nest of secrets.
You can read an excerpt of Taken here, in PDF format
About The Author:

Dee Henderson is the bestselling, award-winning author of nineteen previous novels, including the acclaimed O'Malley series, the Uncommon Heroes series, and the New York Times bestselling Full Disclosure. She is a lifelong resident of Illinois. Visit her at www.deehenderson.com.

My Review:

Dee Henderson has been my absolute favorite mystery/suspense author for years, and I always anticipate her new releases with giddy excitement. I am like a kid in a candy store when it comes to new book releases! She never disappoints, and Taken was no exception! Taken includes its own amazing new characters but also a few loved ones from some of Henderson's best-selling books, Full Disclosure (Ann and Paul), Unspoken (Bryce and Charlotte), and even two loved characters from the O'Malley series (Rachel and Cole). It was so fun to see some of these characters from the very books that caused me to fall in love with Dee Henderson in the first place. Her books hold a special place in my heart and it was the psychological suspense genre that she seemed to spear head and brought other prolific authors like Terri Blackstock into my library. 

Taken has a lot going on it, with several story lines that layer one another, and I loved that it was written from one of the main characters perspectives, yet told the story of a totally different character. While that may sound confusing, Henderson nailed the writing! While the book has tons of suspense and drama, it is definitely emotionally charged and that emotion made the book what it was for sure. With mystery, romance, and faith all rolled into one, there was a great balance of all three points.  Faith in God definitely shines through as one of the themes and again, Henderson brings in themes about God and faith without being overbearing. 

You are thrown right into the action from the first chapter and the adrenaline rush does not let down throughout reading. I was up late into the night to finish it in only a few hours and just loved everything about this book. 

I highly recommend this book and give it a huge thumbs up!
 
BUY IT: You can purchase Taken online through Amazon. It is also available at your local favorite Christian book retailer from Bethany House, a division of Baker Publishing Group.

***I received a complimentary copy of this book, courtesy of Bethany House Blogger Program and Baker Publishing Group, for the purpose of review on this blog. All opinions expressed are my own, and I have not been compensated in any other manner***

Two Roads Home: A Blog Tour and Review

About The Book:

What if it’s too late for dreams to come true?
Minor-but-nagging setbacks continue to sour Grant and Audrey Whitman’s initiation into the world of innkeeping, but larger challenges brew when an innocent flirtation leads to big trouble for the Whitmans’ son-in-law, Jesse. Jesse Pennington’s friendly, outgoing personality has always served him well, especially in a career that has earned him and his wife Corinne a very comfortable lifestyle. But Corinne and Jesse are both restless—and for similar reasons, if only they could share those with each other. Instead, too many business trips and trumped-up charges of harassment from a disgruntled coworker threaten their marriage and possibly put their three precious daughters at risk.
With their life in disarray, God is tugging at their hearts to pursue other dreams. Can Corinne and Jesse pick up the pieces of what was once a wonderful life before it all crumbles beneath them?
About The Author:
Deborah Raney’s books have won numerous awards, including the RITA, National Readers Choice Award, HOLT Medallion, and the Carol Award, and have twice been Christy Award finalists. She and her husband, Ken, recently traded small-town life in Kansas—the setting of many of Deborah’s novels—for life in the (relatively) big city of Wichita, where they enjoy gardening, antiquing, movies, and traveling to visit four children and a growing brood of grandchildren who all live much too far away. Visit Deborah on the web at DeborahRaney.com.
My Review:
Two Roads Home is the second book in the Chichory Inn series and I excitedly anticipated its release. It did not disappoint at all! Well worth the wait for sure. Two Roads Home delves into a family crisis and how that crisis is dealt with. It is a crisis that many can relate to and I think that is why I enjoyed the book. There were a few nice twists and exciting moments in the book but the thing that I enjoyed the most was the interactions between the characters. It was so real and I loved the struggles and good times that each character experienced. With so many great characters, there will be at least one that whomever reads Two Roads Home will connect with. The writing flowed nicely and allowed me to really feel as though I was right in the story. 
I highly recommend this book and give it a huge thumbs up.
BUY IT: You can purchase Two Roads Home online through Amazon. It is also available at your favorite local Christian book retailer from Abingdon Press
***I received a complimentary copy of this book, courtesy of LitFuse Publicity Group, for the purpose of review on this blog. All opinions expressed are my own, and I have not been compensated in any other manner***

A Heart's Betrayal: A Blog Tour and Book Review

About The Book:

Emmie finds shelter in the arms of a soldier, but her secret could drive them apart.
When Emmie Croftner answered the door to her late husband’s home, she discovered an awful truth: her deceased husband was a bigamist. And what’s more, the home she thought she inherited never belonged to her at all.
Suddenly displaced, powerless, and ashamed, Emmie can’t stay in Wabash, Indiana. She makes a hopeful start for Fort Laramie, Wyoming, to find her friend Sarah Montgomery and a new beginning. But when she arrives, she discovers she’s pregnant—and without a husband. The new start she’d hoped for slips from her fingers.
But then she meets Isaac Liddle, a handsome soldier with a kind heart. When he begins to court her, Emmie wonders whether she could ever really be his—and whether she dares to tell him she is carrying another man’s baby.
About The Author:
USA Today bestselling author Colleen Coble has written several romantic suspense novels including “Tidewater Inn,” “Rosemary Cottage,” and the Mercy Falls, Lonestar, and Rock Harbor series.
Find out more about Colleen athttp://www.colleencoble.com/.
My Review:
Colleen Coble has done it again with book four of the Journey of the Heart series! This time we see Emmie on her journey to find Sarah and ultimately meeting Isaac Liddle. It was again a very quick read, finishing it in under two hours. I have thoroughly enjoyed the series thus far and A Heart's Betrayal was just as good as the rest of the books. It was a very emotional book, even more so than the rest of the series thus far. That emotion made it very hard to put down, and drew me in from the very start of the book. The characters and storylines are very well developed and were both interesting and intriguing combining for a fantastic read. If you haven't read the rest of the series and start with A Heart's Betrayal, you won't find yourself lost per say, but I would definitely read the rest of the series too.
I highly recommend this book, and the entire series, and give it a huge thumbs up!
BUY IT: You can buy A Heart's Betrayal online through Amazon.
***I received a complimentary copy of this book, courtesy of LitFuse Publicity Group, for the purpose of review on this blog. All opinions are my own, and I have not been compensated in any other manner***

A Friend in Me: A Blog Tour and Book Review

About The Book:

Young women long for relational connection with women further ahead of them on the journey. Yet, without realizing it, many of us tend to distance ourselves from those in younger generations.
Can we really have close relationships with women who have different thoughts on church, different experiences with family, and different ways of talking about God? Where do we start?
In A Friend in Me, Pam Lau shows you how to be a safe place for the younger women in your life. She offers five patterns women need to internalize and practice for initiating relationships and talking about issues such as faith, forgiveness, sexuality, and vocation. Most significantly, she reminds you that there doesn’t need to be a divide between generations of women. Together, we can have a global impact—and experience a deeper faith than we’ve ever known.
About The Author:
Pam Lau is the author of Soul Strength and numerous articles for such publications as Christian Scholar’s Review and Christianity Today. She has taught writing at George Fox University and speaks around the country at conferences and retreats. A graduate of Liberty University and Colorado State University, Lau lives near Portland, Oregon, with her husband and three daughters.
My Review:
As a women in my 40's I have been blessed by a number of older women in the last 10 or 15 years that I can truly call a mentor. Those women that have guided me through conversations, prayer and community to be the best Christian wife, women and mom that I can. They have truly lived out the scripture in Titus 2 that directs older women to help younger women grow in their faith and life. Now that I have been involved in a fantastic church the last eight years and been a part of MOPS I have connected with a number of younger women that I would love to one day be a mentor to. To come along side of them like older women did for me. This book explains the importance of such a relationship and I am so glad I had the opportunity to read it.This book is a prime example of how a friendship between two Christian women should be and I absolutely love that she covers the topic of social media and the danger we often fall into believing that real relationships come as a result of connecting online. While I have made some amazing friends online through blogging and reviewing, nothing beats those relationships I have built in real life. It takes a lot of heart and time to really build relationships that are based on Christ and I am up to the challenge! Relationships between women of any age is hard work and the author emphasizes that throughout the book, but that hard work is so worth it!
Check out the great videos for each chapter of the book, along with discussion questions, making it perfect for small group studies! 
I highly recommend this book and give it a huge thumbs up!
BUY IT: You can purchase A Friend in Me online through Amazon. It is also available through your favorite local Christian book retailer from David C. Cook. 
***I received a complimentary copy of this book, courtesy of LitFuse Publicity Group, for the purpose of review on this blog. All opinions expressed are my own, and I have not been compensated in any other manner***

A More Christlike God: A Blog Tour and Book Review

About The Book:


What is God like? A punishing judge? A doting grandfather? A deadbeat dad? A vengeful warrior?

Believers and atheists alike typically carry and finally reject the toxic images of God in their own hearts and minds. Even the Christian gospel has repeatedly lapsed into a vision of God where the wrathful King must be appeased by his victim Son. How do such good cop/bad cop distortions of the divine arise and come to dominate churches and cultures?

Whether our notions of ‘god’ are personal projections or inherited traditions, author and theologian Brad Jersak proposes a radical reassessment, arguing for A More Christlike God: a More Beautiful Gospel. If Christ is “the image of the invisible God, the radiance of God’s glory and exact representation of God’s likeness,” what if we conceived of God as completely Christlike—the perfect Incarnation of self-giving, radically forgiving, co-suffering love? What if God has always been and forever will be cruciform (cross-shaped) in his character and actions?

A More Christlike God suggests that such a God would be very good news indeed—a God who Jesus “unwrathed” from dead religion, a Love that is always toward us, and a Grace that pours into this suffering world through willing, human partners.




About The Author:
Brad Jersak (PhD) is an author and teacher based in Abbotsford, BC. He is on faculty at Westminster Theological Centre (Cheltenham, UK), where he teaches New Testament and Patristics. He also serves as adjunct faculty with St Stephen’s University (St. Stephen, NB). He is also the senior editor of CWR (Christianity Without the Religion) Magazine, based in Pasadena, CA.

Find out more about Bradley at http://www.bradjersak.com.

My Review:
I am so excited to introduce you to another fantastic Canadian writer, who has a gift of bringing deep theological topics and explaining them in a way that everyday people can understand and apply to their lives. Brad Jersak writes in such a way that you feel like you are in a sermon series at church and really connecting with him as he writes. I made a ton of notes with each chapter read, and going to re-read the book at some point this summer to really continue to dig deep on the topics he discusses. A challenging, theologically sound book that will take you on a journey of re-thinking what we thought about the gospel! Definitely not a light read, it is one that I will have to read a few times to really digest all the topics and thoughts but one I more than willing to do so with. I hope in the Fall to dig deeper with this book and grow from it. A life-changing read to be sure.

I highly recommend this book and give it a huge thumbs up.

BUY IT: You can purchase A More Christlike God online through Amazon.
***I received a complimentary copy of this book, courtesy of LitFuse Publicity Group, for the purpose of review on this blog. All opinions expressed are my own, and I have not been compensated in any other manner***

Hutterite Diaries: A Blog Tour and Book Review

About The Book:

What would it be like to share all your possessions and live in Christian community?
In Hutterite Diaries, Linda Maendel offers a rare glimpse into the daily routines and communal faith of her people, the Hutterian Brethren. From stories of working together to bring in the fall potato harvest to laugh-out-loud tales of sisterly love laced with revenge, Maendel invites readers into her Bruderhof, or colony, nestled on the prairie of western Canada. Here children and adults work, play, eat, and worship together, crafting a community of goods and living out an alternative to the individualism and consumerism of mainstream society.
Few outsiders know anything about the Hutterites, a Plain Christian group related to the Amish and Mennonites. Maendel’s story invites readers into deeper understanding of this community of faith, calling us to take seriously the example of Jesus and the early church in our daily living.
About The Author:
Linda Maendel is a Hutterite author, blogger, and educator who lives in Elm River Colony outside of Winnipeg, Manitoba.
My Review:
The Hutterite community of Elm River Colony is only a little ways from my home city of Winnipeg, Manitoba. Yet I did not grow up knowing a whole lot about this little community of people who were staunch in their religious beliefs, and kept very much to themselves. The lifestyle of Hutterites and Amish people have been especially intriguing to me in the last 10 years as one of my favorite genres of Christian fiction is Amish fiction. So to read Hutterite Diaries was especially exciting. 
The book was written in such an engaging style, making me feel like I was sitting with the author, and her grandfather in one chapter, and hearing all about the life lived on a Hutterite colony. If you have ever wanted to know about this lifestyle, this is your chance. The book is beautifully written in a style that reminded me of Sarah Bessey and Emily Wierenga, and that is a huge compliment. A wonderful, educational look into the world of Hutterites, and this was especially great for me to read, as I grew up in the Mennonite Brethren faith. I would also love to read the first two books in the Plainspoken series, Called To Be Amish and Chasing The Amish Dream, in the near future. The most interesting thing about this book was the "A Day in the Life of the Author" and the author's answers to FAQs, at the end of the book. 
I highly recommend this book and give it a huge thumbs up.
BUY IT: You can purchase Hutterite Diaries online through MennoMedia
***I received a complimentary copy of this book, courtesy of LitFuse Publicity Group, for the purpose of review on this blog. All opinions expressed are my own, and I have not been compensated in any other manner***

As Waters Gone By: A Blog Tour and Book Review

About The Book:

How can a marriage survive when separated by hundreds of miles and impenetrable prison walls?
Emmalyn and Max Ross may have to endure the fight of their lives to mend the tattered fabric of their marriage. His actions ensured she could never be a mother and put him in prison, giving their relationship a court-mandated five-year time-out. On a self-imposed exile to beautiful but remote Madeline Island, one of the Apostle Islands of Lake Superior, Emmalyn has just a few months left to figure out if and how they can ever be a couple again.
Nudged along by the exuberant owner of the Wild Iris Inn and Café, a circle of misfit people in their small town, and a young girl who desperately needs someone to love her, Emmalyn restores an island cottage that could become a home and begins to restore her heart by learning what it means to love unconditionally. Yet even as hope begins to find a place within the cottage walls, Emmalyn still wonders if she’s ready for Max’s release. She may be able to rebuild a cottage, but can she rebuild a marriage?
About The Author:
Cynthia Ruchti tells stories “hemmed in hope.” She’s the award-winning author of sixteen books and a frequent speaker for women’s ministry events. She serves as the Professional Relations Liaison for American Christian Fiction Writers, where she helps retailers, libraries, and book clubs connect with the authors and books they love. She lives with her husband in Central Wisconsin.
Find out more about Cynthia at http://www.cynthiaruchti.com.
My Review:
Reconciliation in marriage, hope and healing, infertility. All these topics and more emotion than I knew what to do with were present in this amazing novel. With a writing gift that makes you feel as though you are right in the book experiencing everything with the characters, I could not put this book down. Cynthia Ruchti is one of my favorite fiction authors, and regularly reminds of Nicholas Sparks or Dan Walsh in her writing, topics and storylines. I just love her books and this most recent release, As Waters Gone By, was certainly no exception. It was fantastic. I shed just a few tears as I read late into the evening (make sure you have tissues at hand when reading, just a warning). I related so much with the wanting of a child that just did not come, and to unanswered prayers. Hope comes through even in the hard times and is a constant theme, along with several twists and turns. I look forward to reading what comes next for Ms. Ruchti!
I highly recommend this book and give it a huge thumbs up!
BUY IT: You can purchase As Waters Gone By online through Amazon. It is also available through your favorite local Christian book retailer from Abingdon Press
***I received a complimentary electronic copy of this book, courtesy of LitFuse Publicity Group, for the purpose of review on this blog. All opinions expressed are my own, and I have not been compensated in any other manner***

A Heart's Danger: A Blog Tour and Book Review

About The Book:

On the brink of war with the Sioux, Sarah risks everything to expose the betrayal threatening the man she loves.
Christmas is coming, and the air at Fort Laramie has turned cold . . . but relations with the Sioux have turned colder. As tensions between soldiers and natives approach a tipping point, a trap has been set for Rand Campbell.
Rand’s new fiancée wants to keep him from returning to Sarah Montgomery . . . for whom his heart clearly still yearns.
Sarah just wants to move on with her life at Fort Laramie, but doing so under the watchful eyes of both Campbell—the man whose love she craves—and Croftner—the man whose lies have cost her everything.
Will Rand fall victim to the conspiracy and go through with his wedding? Or will he declare his love for Sarah and make good on the promises that brought her into the rugged western territories?
About The Author:

USA Today bestselling author Colleen Coble has written several romantic suspense novels including “Tidewater Inn,” “Rosemary Cottage,” and the Mercy Falls, Lonestar, and Rock Harbor series.
Find out more about Colleen athttp://www.colleencoble.com/.
My Review:

Oh my, I think this is my favorite book yet covering the journey of Sarah at Fort Laramie! Again, a super short read but so full of adventure. I found my self reading this book in less than a couple hours and just feeling like I was right in the action with Sarah and feeling all that she did.  The book shows real experiences and real emotions and that is a huge plus to me. For me to be able to relate to a character in a book, or a storyline, that means the book is a hit in my eyes. This one did this for sure. I am so glad that Colleen Coble brings God into each book she writes and does so with such tact that is is not over bearing or forceful. This is book three in the series, which has released once a month, and I have already read book four, A Heart's Betrayal, and you will love it, I am certain.

I highly recommend this book and give it a huge thumbs up. 

BUY IT: You can purchase A Heart's Danger online through Amazon. It is also available through your favorite local Christian book retailer from Thomas Nelson

***I received a complimentary copy of this book, courtesy of LitFuse Publicity Group, for the purpose of review on this blog. All opinions expressed are my own, and I have not been compensated in any other manner***

Heart Sisters: A Book Review and Blog Tour

About The Book:

Heart Sisters is for women who want to both be and have better friends and want a helpful guide to take them through the process.
Author Natalie Chambers Snapp uses her own and others’ stories of successes and failures to illustrate what she has learned about girlfriend relationships. Healthy boundaries, honesty, tact, sharing, and agape love all play a part in being and maintaining a circle of close confidants. She also deals with the inevitable challenges that face many relationships including how to handle conflict; life changes like a new baby, move or divorce; and when it is right to “break-up” with your friend.
Discussion questions, space to journal, photos, and quick interviews of healthy female friendships are included within each chapter.
About The Author:
Natalie Chambers Snapp is first and foremost a follower of Jesus, then wife to Jason, and mom to one spunky daughter and two spirited sons with a crazy amount of energy. Choosing to follow Jesus at 27, Natalie is passionate about sharing the grace, mercy, and truth of God’s love. She lives in the Midwest with her crew and tries to keep it simple by writing about the faith found in the everyday mundane. The outpourings of her heart can be found at www.nataliesnapp.com in the fleeting moments between being a wife and mother.
My Review:
Friendships are so incredibly important in the development of a young girl, and yet this importance continue to grow even into adolescence and adulthood. I think strong friendships are even more so important as adults. We all desire to have someone (or a small group of someones) that we can rely on, go to, vent with, cry with, laugh with, and in general, do life with. When you find these types of friends, whether you are male or female, you are a blessed person. However, sometimes it is hard to make friends. That is where I was for many years. It has only been in the last ten or twelve years that I have truly embraced the amazing women God has brought into my life. And yet even these amazing friendships have had their bumps, along with the good times. Sadly, I have seen the end of friendships, and I have seen hurt, and forgiveness, but mostly I have seen strong Christian women building one another up.
Heart Sisters takes the reader though the life of a strong, healthy friendship. You will be reminded how to deal with conflict in a healthy manner, when to let go, how to overcome fear and be an authentic friend and so much more. This book is LOADED with good nuggets and you will find yourself drawing to the book in reference over and over. The book reminds me so much of Dee Brestin in it's thoughts and encouragement! A great read for any Women's Ministry Pastor or church library for sure.
I highly recommend this book and give it a huge thumbs up!
BUY IT: You can purchase Heart Sisters online through Amazon. It is also available through your favorite Christian book retailer from Abingdon Press.
***I received a complimentary copy of this book, courtesy of LitFuse Publicity Group, for the purpose of review on this blog. All opinions expressed are my own, and I have not been compensated in any other manner***

Never Say No: A Book Review

About The Book:

The question Mark and Jan Foreman are most often asked is: How did you raise your kids?
Mark and Jan Foreman’s adult sons Jon and Tim Foreman of Switchfoot have influenced their world not only by a successful music career but also through their positive impact on communities around the globe. The Foreman parents instilled in their sons a belief that they could make a difference by living beyond themselves.
This powerful book gives readers an inside look at the process. It begins with both parent and child finding their identity in God. It then explores practical ways to encourage holistic learning while cultivating specific gifts, nurturing creativity in a media-saturated culture, and balancing structure with individual choice. Never Say No inspires readers to raise children to live in the wonder of life by loving others well. Parents will find encouragement for their own parenting journey as they guide their kids to live out God’s purpose in radical ways.
About The Authors:
Jan and Mark Foreman live in the San Diego area, where Mark is lead pastor of North Coast Calvary Chapel. Mark is the author of Wholly Jesus, and holds advanced degrees in Theology, Education and a Ph.D. in Counseling and Pastoral Care. Jan is a gifted teacher, artist, and she also facilitates partnerships with underprivileged women and children both locally and in developing countries. Together they love surfing, sailing, travel and especially being with their family.
My Review:
As a parent of two elementary aged children (6 and 8 years old) we are finally at the stage of parenting that we are seeing very concrete likes, dislikes and dreams developing in our daughters. This is both exciting and scary all at the same time. Exciting, because we love seeing their personalities emerge more and more from young child to older child and seeing the things they are passionate about develop on a daily basis. But scary too, as we want to continue to draw both girls to Christ and make sure He is at the center of all their dreams and desires. 
As I read Never Say Never, this is the exact message that came through to me. It is actually a fantastic parenting book, and definitely not your traditional parenting how-to! The book is loaded with fantastic information and took a while to digest everything. In fact, it is so loaded with info, that I am taking it on my summer vacation road trip at the end of this month so I can read it again and take more notes (although the book is so marked up already, I am not sure I can mark anything else up). It is a book that I will reference for a long time to come yet, as it comes all ages and stages of the parenting journey. And definitely one that I will recommend to all my parent friends. A great new parent gift or one that could be a great addition for a Family Ministry program in your local church.
I highly recommend this book and give it a huge thumbs up!
BUY IT: You can purchase Never Say No online through Amazon. It is also available through your favorite Christian book retailer from David C. Cook
***I received a complimentary copy of this book, courtesy of LitFuse Publicity Group, for the purpose of review on this blog. All opinions expressed are my own, and I have not been compensated in any other manner***

Dauntless: A Book Review

About The Book:
Where Legend and History Collide, 
One Young Woman Will Fight for the Innocent


Born a baron's daughter, Lady Merry Ellison is now an enemy of the throne after her father's failed assassination attempt upon the king. Bold and uniquely skilled, she is willing to go to any lengths to protect the orphaned children of her former village--a group that becomes known as "The Ghosts of Farthingale Forest." Merry finds her charge more difficult as their growing notoriety brings increasing trouble their way.

Timothy Grey, ninth child of the Baron of Greyham, longs to perform some feat so legendary that he will rise from obscurity and earn a title of his own. When the Ghosts of Farthingale Forest are spotted in Wyndeshire, where he serves as assistant to the local earl, he might have found his chance. But when he comes face-to-face with the leader of the thieves, he's forced to reexamine everything he's known.


You can read an excerpt of this book here, in PDF format

Here is a discussion guide, in PDF format, perfect for a book club!

About The Author:

Dina L. Sleiman holds an MA in professional writing from Regent University and a BA in communications with a minor in English from Oral Roberts University. Over the past eighteen years, she has had opportunities to teach college writing and literature, as well as high school and elementary classes in English, humanities, and fine arts. She lives in Virginia with her husband and three children. She can be found online at www.dinasleiman.com.

My Review:


A fantastic book that starts up the Valiant Hearts series from Dina L. Sleiman. It drew me in from the very beginning and I look very forward to seeing what happens with the characters and story lines in subsequent books in the series. Dauntless was a great coming-of-age read and brought the reader right to the middle of Medieval life and I absolutely loved the journey that Merry took in her life. I loved her character and Allen the most. The book was very well written and kept my attention throughout.

 A great young adult Christian fiction novel that I highly recommend!

BUY IT: You can purchase Dauntless at your favorite Christian book retailer from Bethany House, a division of Baker Publishing Group.

***I received a complimentary copy of this book, courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications Inc., for the purpose of review on this blog. All opinions expressed are my own, and I have not been compensated in any other manner***

Finding Me: A Book Review

About The Book:

What would you do if you learned your life was a lie? 
All her life, Kelli Huddleston has been told the story of a fire--a fire that killed her mother and two siblings when she was an infant. After her father's death though, she uncovers evidence of a different story, including clippings about a boat accident that killed a young father and his infant daughter. And Kelli quietly realizes the story of her life has been a fiction. 

How far would you go to discover the truth?

Armed with only a few pictures of what she thinks might be her family, Kelli crosses the country to Tennessee, determined to uncover the truth about what happened over twenty years ago in a small southern town. When the trip threatens to open doors to the past better left shut, and her plans for the future are jeopardized, Kelli is faced with an agonizing choice that will change her life forever.


You can read an excerpt of this book, here, in PDF format

About The Author:

Kathryn Cushman is a graduate of Samford University with a degree in pharmacy. She is the acclaimed author of over a half-dozen novels, including  Leaving Yesterday and A Promise to Remember, which were both finalists for the Carol Award in Women's Fiction. Kathryn and her family make their home in Santa Barbara, California.

My Review:

If you enjoy contemporary Christian novels with just a touch of romance and enough mystery/suspense to keep you up reading late into the night, then Finding Me is the book for you. It is classic Kathryn Cushman writing and I am always happy when she has a new book released.

 Finding Me was a fantastic read with unbelievable writing that draws you in from the very first pages! Seriously it was so good. Lots going on in this book but it all ties together nicely in the end. It was a very thought provoking read as well, which is not typical for the novels I tend to read. It was a nice change of pace to be sure. It was a pleasure to read this book and would be appropriate as a nice, clean read for young adults and older.

I highly recommend this book and give it a huge thumbs up.

BUY IT: You can purchase Finding Me online through Amazon. It is also available through your favorite local Christian book retailer from Bethany House, a division of Baker Publishing Group.

***I received a complimentary copy of this book, courtesy of Bethany House Blogger Program and Baker Publishing Group, for the purpose of review on this blog. All opinions expressed are my own, and I have not been compensated in any other manner***