Saturday, August 31, 2013

Band of Sisters by Cathy Gohlke (Review)





  • Paperback: 432 pages

  • Publisher: Tyndale House Publishers (August 17, 2012)

  • ISBN-13: 978-1414353081




  • Maureen O’Reilly and her younger sister flee Ireland in hope of claiming the life promised to their father over twenty years before. After surviving the rigors of Ellis Island, Maureen learns that their benefactor, Colonel Wakefield, has died. His family, refusing to own his Civil War debt, casts her out. Alone, impoverished, and in danger of deportation, Maureen connives to obtain employment in a prominent department store. But she soon discovers that the elegant facade hides a secret that threatens every vulnerable woman in the city.

    Despite her family’s disapproval, Olivia Wakefield determines to honor her father’s debt but can’t find Maureen. Unexpected help comes from a local businessman, whom Olivia begins to see as more than an ally, even as she fears the secrets he’s hiding. As women begin disappearing from the store, Olivia rallies influential ladies in her circle to help Maureen take a stand against injustice and fight for the lives of their growing band of sisters. But can either woman open her heart to divine leading or the love it might bring?


    My Review:

    I thought this was an okay Christian historical fiction book. It was a little long in places and the text was too small which made it harder to read. The characters and plot were good though so I kept reading. The author did a good job on the historical details. There was a little romance, mystery, and drama. Two of the major things in the book are immigrant issues and white slavery. Maureen and her sister Katie come over from Ireland looking for a better life and run into new issues. Recommended to readers of Christian historical fiction.







    Cathy Gohlke is the two-time Christy Award-winning author of William Henry is a Fine Name and I Have Seen Him in the Watchfires, which also won the American Christian Fiction Writers' Book of the Year Award and was listed by Library Journal as one of the Best Books of 2008.
    Cathy has worked as a school librarian, drama director, and director of children's and education ministries. When not traipsing the hills and dales of historic sites, she, her husband, and their dog, Reilly, make their home on the banks of the Laurel Run in Maryland. Visit her website at www.cathygohlke.com.

    The Briarpatch Gospel by Shayne Wheeler (Review)



  • Paperback: 272 pages

  • Publisher: Tyndale Momentum (February 18, 2013)

  • ISBN-13: 978-1414372303



  • Hasn’t Jesus called us into the thorns and thistles with Him to love what we find there? What if we had the courage to follow him into the briarpatch and discover life as we were always meant to live it?

     In The Briarpatch Gospel, dynamic young pastor Shayne Wheeler presents a radical message of grace, one that won’t allow you to remain comfortable merely sitting in a church pew. He shares his own heartbreaking personal journey through the briarpatch, and his church’s remarkable experience of creating a community in which people walk through life’s issues—even the darkest, most painful problems and questions—together. Unafraid. Like Jesus did.

    Think about it: What is your (or your church’s) briarpatch—the area where you’re afraid to go, or feel unequipped to address? Is it sharing what you really think on controversial issues? Becoming friends with someone who’s different from you? Confronting and overcoming your own pain, doubts, or fears? Bold and challenging, The Briarpatch Gospel provides a new vernacular for Christians to have open, honest conversations about what loving each other in Christ’s name might look like in the briarpatches of their own communities.


    My Review:

    "Entering the briarpatch means nothing more than loving people where they are, clearing their path of unnecessary obstacles, and being willing to share life with them- and let the life of Jesus be evident in us." The book is divided into 4 sections- The Problem of the Briarpatch, The Briarpatch Within, Into the Briarpatch and Transforming the Briarpatch. I thought the author made some valid points and the book was easy to read. I did not agree with all of the author's ideas. However I did take away the main message which is we need to live out our beliefs and not be afraid to go in the rough places to reach people. The author is a good story teller but does not back them up with enough scripture. The book does repeat a lot of things already in print. Since there are some big theology issues I do not recommend this book.


    The Outcast by Jolina Petersheim (Review)






  • Paperback: 400 pages

  • Publisher: Tyndale House Publishers (June 21, 2013)

  • ISBN-13: 978-1414379340



  • Raised in an Old Order Mennonite community, Rachel Stoltzfus is a strong-willed single woman, content living apart from mainstream society until whispers stir the moment her belly swells with new life. Refusing to repent and name the partner in her sin, Rachel feels the wrath of the religious sect as she is shunned by those she loves most. She is eventually coerced into leaving by her brother-in-law, the bishop.

    But secrets run deep in this cloistered community, and the bishop is hiding some of his own, threatening his conscience and his very soul. When the life of Rachel’s baby is at stake, however, choices must be made that will bring the darkness to light, forever changing the lives of those who call Copper Creek home.


    My Review:

    I loved this book. It was not an exact match for the Scarlett Letter but had similarities. The author drew me in from the first page and I could not read fast enough. The author drew pictures with her words and the prose was beautiful. It was hard to believe this was her debut novel.The story was told from two main point of views. The first is Rachel the single Mennonite woman who got pregnant out of wedlock. The other is her sister's father in law who is the bishop and passes away early in the book. Rachel moved in with her sister because her sister had a difficult pregnancy. Rachel and her sister are identical twins. There are several interesting secondary characters like the woman who took Rachel in when the community shunned her. The plot and characters are well developed and interesting. Highly Recommended.






    Jolina Petersheim holds degrees in English and Communication Arts from the University of the Cumberlands. Though The Outcast is her first novel, her writing has been featured in venues as varied as radio programs, nonfiction books, and numerous online and print publications. Her blog is syndicated with The Tennessean's "On Nashville" blog roll, as well as featured on other creative writing sites. Jolina and her husband share the same unique Amish and Mennonite heritage that originated in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, but now live in the mountains of Tennessee with their young daughter. Follow Jolina and her blog at http://www.jolinapetersheim.com/.

    Prototype by Jonathan Martin (Review)



  • Paperback: 256 pages

  • Publisher: Tyndale Momentum (April 19, 2013)

  • ISBN-13: 978-1414373638



  • Jesus is God and we are not. Most of us get that. But what we don’t always understand is that God loves us just as much as He does His son.

     Many times in the Old Testament, God refers to human beings as His “beloved.” But when God called Jesus His beloved, Jesus did something truly remarkable: He believed Him. He lived every moment of His life fully convinced of His identity. And unlike every other person in history . . . He never forgot.

    In Prototype, Jonathan Martin creates a vivid understanding of what it means to be beloved by God. To completely trust, as Jesus did, that God loves you. To live life without fear, confident in your identity and purpose. To handle life’s wounds as Jesus did, and to wake every day with a deep awareness of God’s presence.

    Martin reveals a startling truth at the heart of the gospel: Jesus is our prototype. And as we discover how the knowledge of being God’s beloved changed everything for Jesus—how it set Him free to live out his purpose and love God, others, and the world—it will begin to do the same for us.


    My Review:

    I never really got where the author was going with this book. I finished the book not understanding how Jesus is the prototype for a new human. It was not clear enough for my brain to decipher. The writing itself flowed and the stories were interesting. I liked the idea behind the church he pastors called Renovatus. We are all under renovation because we are not perfect until we reach heaven. There were a few good sections and ideas. Read with caution.







    Jonathan Martin lead the liars, dreamers, and misfits of Renovatus, a church for people under renovation, in Charlotte, North Carolina. He holds degrees from Gardner-Webb University, the Pentecostal Theological Seminary, and Duke University Divinity School. He is married to Amanda, and is unafraid to be seen walking his small dog, Cybil.

    Heaven Hears by Lindy Boone Michaelis with Susy Flory (Review)




  • Paperback: 256 pages

  • Publisher: Tyndale House Publishers (April 19, 2013)

  • ISBN-13: 978-1414383248



  • On June 19, 2001, Ryan Corbin, grandson of Pat Boone, accidentally stepped through a skylight and fell three stories onto a cement floor. When he broke through that roof, Ryan fell into a very different life from the one he had before as the beloved son of Lindy Boone Michaelis and first grandson of entertainment icon Pat Boone. As Ryan lingered between life and death in intensive care at UCLA Medical Center, Pat and Lindy decided to take action, in a big way; they went on Larry King Live, shared their faith, and asked millions of TV viewers to pray for Ryan. And so, they prayed. Heaven Hears is an unbelievable story of answered prayer—and it’s not over yet. This book will inspire you to look for answers to prayer and to see God’s miracles.


    My Review:

    I thought this was an okay book. I expected more about Ryan than the book offered. It was mostly about his mother, Lindy. There was a lot of background on the Boone family. It was kind of like a memoir about Lindy. There was also some annoying sections of repeated information. It was amazing how he recovered some from the fall when the doctors thought he was going to die. He is not all the way recovered of course but he is far from dead. God does hear prayers and sometimes the answer is yes and people recover!






    Lindy Boone Michaelis was born into the entertainment business as the second daughter of singer and entertainment icon Pat Boone. Along with her older sister, Cherry, and two younger sisters, Debby, and Laury, Lindy sang with her family in national and international singing tours from 1968 to 1977, including a tour of Japan with the Osmond Family. The Boone Girls recorded several Christian albums, including the Grammy award nominated "First Class." Lindy lives in Southern California with her husband of 26 years, attorney Mike Michaelis. She has three adult children: Ryan, Jessi, and Tyler. Lindy has worked in the fitness industry as a personal trainer and group fitness instructor. She also tours with a singing group called The New Chordettes, performing songs with tight harmonies from the forties, fifties, and sixties. On June 19, 2001, Lindy's life changed forever when her oldest son, Ryan Corbin, stepped through a skylight on the roof of his apartment building and fell several stories to a concrete floor. Ryan is still at home recovering from his traumatic brain injury (TBI) and Lindy coordinates Ryan's care. In 2003, the Boone family started a foundation called Ryan's Reach to help provide information and resources for survivors of TBI and their families.

    Thursday, August 29, 2013

    Willing to Walk on Water by Caroline Barnett (Review)









  • Paperback: 256 pages

  • Publisher: Tyndale Momentum (April 1, 2013)

  • ISBN-13: 978-1414372297




  • You are part of the miracle God is looking for to help change the world.

    Right now—in the midst of your busy daily life—God stands ready to help you find your purpose. His hand is stretched out to you from across the water. All you need to do is be willing to take that first step out of the boat.

    In Willing to Walk on Water, Caroline Barnett reveals that God created us to be happiest when we are doing the things we care about most—when we’re using our innate talents and passions to make the lives of those around us better. Drawing on her experiences at the Dream Center—a ministry full of unlikely miracles in inner-city Los Angeles—Caroline helps you find your “trigger,” the specific need in your world you can’t stand to see unmet any longer. She’ll show you how to act with your eyes and heart open to God’s leading, and to balance your dreams of making a difference with your everyday responsibilities.

    Give God your willingness and He will give you a reignited passion for life. Take that first step toward Him; you’ll find the water beneath your feet is as firm as solid ground.



    My Review:

    I thought this was an okay book. I do not think it fulfilled the purpose listed on the description. It was more an advertisement of the successes of the Dream Center ministry. Which sounds like a great ministry don't get me wrong. It started small and grew into a large multifaceted ministry and seems blessed. I did not find my "trigger" as promised or see how anyone could using this book. I did like reading the Dream Center success stories. I also liked the stories about Caroline's life. It seemed more like a memoir. I only recommend this book to someone looking for a memoir/ministry success book.







    Caroline Barnett (Co-Pastor of The Dream Center), has played a pivotal role in program development at The Dream Center. Programs such as the Transitional Homeless Family Program, and the Foster Care Intervention program, designed to keep families together, and many more have all been created out of her desire to help families succeed. She is passionate about inspiring the women of the church to find their God-given cause to change this world with just a little bit of effort and a lot of faith; simply their willingness.

    Monday, August 26, 2013

    Pattern for Romance by Carla Gade

    This week, the
    Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
    is introducing
    Pattern for Romance
    Abingdon Press (August 20, 2013)
    by
    Carla Gade


    ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

    Carla Olson Gade has been imaging stories most of her life. Her love for writing and eras gone by turned her attention to writing Inspirational Historical Romance. She is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers, American Christian Writers, and the Maine Fellowship of Christian Writers. She is represented by Chip MacGregor of MacGregor Literary.

    Her publishing credits also include a variety of newspaper articles, newsletters, and web content. She also enjoys developing discipleship materials for women. She has been a book judge for the Inspirational Reader's Choice Contest (RWA), and ACFW's Genesis Contest.

    In addition to writing, Carla is a freelance website designer and webhost and an advocate for adult literacy. An experienced event and program planner/promoter, Carla designs marketing materials for her writing group, women's ministry, and other functions. Carla has also spoken at several women's events and facilitated many workshops and classes through the years.

    An autodidact, creative thinker, and avid reader, Carla also enjoys genealogy, web design, and photography. A native New Englander, she lives in beautiful rural Maine with her "hero" husband and two young adult sons, and a new grandson.

    ABOUT THE BOOK

    Honour Metcalf’s quilting needlework is admired by a wealthy customer of the Boston Mantua-maker for whom she works. In need of increasing her earnings, she agrees to create an elaborate white work bridal quilt for the dowager’s niece. A beautiful design emerges as she carefully stitches the intricate patterns and she begins to dream of fashioning a wedding quilt of her own. When Honour is falsely accused of thievery and finds herself in a perilous position, merchant tailor Joshua Sutton comes to her aid. As he risks his relationships, reputation, and livelihood to prove her innocence, the two discover a grander plan—a design for love.

    If you would like to read the first chapter of Pattern for Romance, go HERE.


    R.I.P. VIII Challenge (Readers Inhibiting Peril) Start Post

     
     
     
     
     

    Me: I have participated in this challenge before and enjoyed it. It is something different from what I usually read and fits the season. I am doing Peril the Third which is where you read one book. I am not sure what I will read yet. I read the original Dracula one year. Thank you Carl at Stainless Steel Droppings for coming up with and hosting this reading challenge. The site link is http://www.stainlesssteeldroppings.com/r-eaders-i-mbibing-p-eril-viii



    Stories can make us look back over our shoulders and question every creak and groan on a dark, quiet night. Stories can cause our hearts to race with ever-increasing tension as we forgo sleep to rush towards a surprising conclusion. Stories can make us suspicious of every character as we challenge the protagonist to be the first to solve the crime. Stories can make us sleep with the lights on, make us pull the covers just a little bit tighter, and can make every shadow seem more menacing than they ever have before.

    Be they our favorite cozy mysteries, exciting police procedurals, classic tales about things that go bump in the night or contemporary terrors that chill us to the bone, there is something delicious about the ability of the printed word to give us a fright. At no time of the year is this more of a delight than when Summer heat turns to Autumn chill as the days become ever darker.

    Eight years ago I became aware of reading challenges and wanted to start one of my own, hoping to find others who shared my Autumnal predilection for the works of Edgar Allen Poe, H.P. Lovecraft, Bram Stoker and other authors contemporary and classic who captured the spirit of gothic literature. All these years later we are still going strong, welcoming September with a time of coming together to share our favorite mysteries, detective stories, horror stories, dark fantasies, and everything in between.

    I welcome you to join us.

    September 1st is right around the corner. It is time to begin.

    Mystery.
    Suspense.
    Thriller.
    Dark Fantasy.
    Gothic.
    Horror.
    Supernatural.

     Or anything sufficiently moody that shares a kinship with the above. That is what embodies the stories, written and visual, that we celebrate with the R.eaders I.mbibing P.eril event.

    As time has wound on I’ve honed this event down to two simple rules:
    1. Have fun reading (and watching).
    2. Share that fun with others.


    As I do each and every year, there are multiple levels of participation (Perils) that allow you to be a part of R.eaders I.mbibing P.eril without adding the burden of another commitment to your already busy lives. There is even a one book only option for those who feel that this sort of reading is not their cup of tea (or who have many other commitments) but want to participate all the same.
    R.I.P. VIII officially runs from September 1st through October 31st. But lets go ahead and break the rules. Lets start today!!!

    Multiple perils await you. You can participate in just one, or participate in them all.

    Go here to find out more information and sign up:

    http://www.stainlesssteeldroppings.com/r-eaders-i-mbibing-p-eril-viii

    Sunday, August 25, 2013

    Courageous Grace by Gayle Haggard (Review)







  • Paperback: 224 pages

  • Publisher: Tyndale House Publishers (April 19, 2013)

  • ISBN-13: 978-1414365008

  • As a Bible teacher, Gayle had taught for decades about the amazing power of grace in a person’s life. Yet it took a crisis in her husband’s life and the crumbling of her own life around her for her to have an epiphany about the true nature of grace. In Courageous Grace, Gayle chronicles and explains her newfound insights.

    Despite common misperceptions, grace is not safe. It’s not easy. Frankly, it takes courage to show grace to those who deserve less. Oftentimes, the person showing God’s grace gets counted among the sinners, just as Jesus experienced centuries ago. Gayle explores the story of Jesus forgiving the adulterous woman to reveal the courageous side of showing grace.

    We live in a society that vacillates between glorifying sin and crucifying those who fall. Gayle encourages us to take the road less traveled—daring to do the hard work of showing God’s grace to the sinners among us. It’s what followers of Christ are called to do.



    My Review:
    This was an easy to read book but the theology can sometimes be confusing. You might recognize her name. She is the wife of Ted Haggard, the preacher that got caught with a male prostitute. I have no problem with the main principle of the book which is it takes courage to show grace to some people. I think she is referring to what happened with husband throughout the book. It must have taken a lot for her to stay after the hoopla. As a Christian I think there are situations God does not expect us to stay in and for me that would be one. In the book she states that no sin is worse than another and we should embrace all sinners and show them grace. She also thinks that her husband made a simple mistake and that everyone overreacted and he should not have lost his preacher position. It seems she is judging other Christians for not forgiving and forgetting everything that happened. The book is only partly about grace. The grace part is good the rest I could live without.





    Gayle Haggard is an author, speaker, and the wife of Ted Haggard, founding pastor of New Life Church (Colorado Springs, Colorado), and former president of the National Association of Evangelicals. Together Ted and Gayle grew New Life Church from a small group of people meeting in their home to a 14,000-member congregation. There, Gayle directed women's ministries, teaching women of all ages and overseeing 150 women's small groups. In 2006, their world was rocked by scandal, and they stepped down from leadership. Since that time, Gayle and Ted have emerged from their crisis with their faith, marriage, and family stronger than ever because of what they experienced and learned. Today they lead Roundtable discussions with Christian leaders around the nation which focus on the idea of restoring the key ideas of the New Testament to the modern church's reputation. Gayle is the author of the New York Times best-selling book, Why I Stayed: the Choices I Made in my Darkest Hour, and her newest book, Courageous Grace. In addition, she has made numerous public appearances on CNN, The Today Show, Larry King, Oprah, The View, Dr. Drew, the Huckabee Show, and NPR along with many others, sharing the hope, love, and grace that strengthened her in her darkest hour. Gayle and Ted currently pastor St. James Church in Colorado Springs where Gayle leads a ministry called Women Belong. She and Ted have five children and two grandchildren.

    Friday, August 23, 2013

    The Icing on the Cake by Janice Thompson (Review)







  • Series: Weddings by Design (Book 2)
  • Paperback: 320 pages

  • Publisher: Revell (August 15, 2013)

  • ISBN-13: 978-0800721534



  • Scarlet isn't sure if she has just the right ingredients for true love--or utter disaster
    Scarlet Lindsey is busy making her dreams come true. She's moved her bakery to a prime spot on Galveston's most popular street, she's planning an extravagant cake for her best friend's wedding, and she has a great relationship with Bella Neeley, the island's most popular wedding coordinator. Business is booming and Scarlet is enjoying the ride.

    But when Bella's dangerously handsome brother Armando breezes into her life, Scarlet is faced with a sticky situation. Should she stay with the safe, sweet guy who's been a fixture in her life for years? Or will this brash Italian hunk melt her guarded heart?

    Fan favorite Janice Thompson is back with more wit, more weddings, and more of what you love best--bridal-business drama laced with laughs.

    My Review:

    I loved this book. This was a great Christian chick lit book. I read it in one afternoon. Scarlet is an slightly overweight baker who is getting known for her awesome cake designs. She moves into a new store owned by her Aunt in Galveston, Texas. She loves Lucille Ball and when she does not know what to do next she asks herself what would Lucille do. This is book in the Weddings by Design series so I remember Bella and her family. The book is mainly Scarlet's story but Bella's family is in too so it really pulls everything together to read them in order. Armando made me slightly fall in love with him too. I loved how Scarlett and Armando's relationship develops over the book. The sparks fly in a good way. I identified with Scarlett and her body issues. I have them too and most women. She is beautiful and does not even realize it. The author did a good job developing the characters and plot. There is a good amount of humor in the book along with some serious moments. Highly Recommended. :)






    Janice Thompson is a seasoned romance author and screenwriter. An expert at pulling the humor from the situations we get ourselves into, Thompson offers an inside look at the wedding business, drawing on her own experiences as a wedding planner. She is the author of the Weddings by Bella series and the Backstage Pass series, as well as Picture Perfect. She lives in Texas.
    Visit www.janiceathompson.com for more information.

    Available August 2013 wherever Baker/Revell books are sold.

    Review copy provided by Revell/Baker in exchange for an honest review.

    Thursday, August 22, 2013

    She's Got Issues by Nicole Unice (Review)







  • Paperback: 272 pages

  • Publisher: Tyndale Momentum (April 19, 2012)

  • ISBN-13: 978-1414365107

  • We’ve all got our issues! Maybe you feel like life just isn’t going your way, or you’re afraid that you don’t measure up to other people’s expectations. Perhaps you have a hard time managing your temper or have someone in your life you just can’t forgive. We deal with our “issues” every day in one form or another; the problem is, after a while, they start to feel . . . normal. Unchanging. Just part of who we are. And we forget that we have access to the power of Christ—a power that can transform our everyday weaknesses into our greatest strengths and gifts.

    In She’s Got Issues, Christian counselor, ministry leader, and regular mom Nicole Unice explores the ordinary issues that are keeping you from the full and free life you were meant to have. Applying years of counseling with practical scriptural teaching and a fresh and authentic voice, Nicole shows you how to let God freely shape your character—and transform your life from ordinary to abundant.


    My Review:

    What I liked most about this book is that it is filled with scripture. Each chapter ends with a prayer and discussion questions. The questions really made me think about my life issues deeper. The author focuses on five issues that are the biggest problems among women. They are control, insecurity, comparison, fear, anger/unforgiving. I took the checklists that are in the first of two chapters devoted to each topic. I am positive for all of them in some varying degree. I already knew I had control and comparison issues. I think as humans we all compare ourselves against each other. The author also included stories of other people to illustrate the concepts. The second chapter on each issue offers biblical solutions for each issue. Recommended.








    Nicole Unice is a fresh voice for the next generation. Part bible teacher, part community organizer, part busy mom-Nicole has the uncanny ability to relate to people in all ages and stages of life with her "keeping it real" approach to ordering a life around God's word.

    Nicole's teaching reaches wide, both as a writer and speaker. Her work has been featured in a wide range of publications, including the Christianity Today publications Kyria, Leadership Journal and Gifted for Leadership. She serves in family and student ministry at a Hope Church in Richmond, Virginia.

    Nicole's invitations to speak have taken her across the country to conferences like Synergy and women's retreats, big and small. As if her caffeine addiction wasn't enough, Nicole has endless energy for digging deeply into God's word and sharing truths that are both insightful and practical. Her first bible study, The Divine Pursuit: A Study of Jonah, was a featured resource for the Evangelical Presbyterian Church.

    Nicole received her undergraduate degree in Psychology from the College of William and Mary and her masters in Christian Counseling from Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary. She loves creating a space for ministry and spiritual formation in the everyday rhythms of life with her awesome husband Dave, their three young children, and a mischievous puppy named Shep. Nicole is known for making friends in all corners of the world-especially via social media. So connect with her on her Facebook page or via Twitter-and hopefully face to face at one of her upcoming events.

    Wednesday, August 21, 2013

    Confessions of a Raging Perfectionist by Amanda Jenkins (Review)







  • Paperback: 224 pages

  • Publisher: Tyndale House Publishers (April 19, 2013)

  • ISBN-13: 978-1414378701



  • From the Back Cover

    Minutes I spent working out: 45
    Minutes I spent reading my Bible: 10
    Number of kids who got my undivided attention: 2 outta 4
    Number of rooms looking picture perfect: 2½
    Number of Diet Cokes I drank to power through: 4


    Eesh—room for improvement. Resolve to read longer, drink less caffeine, and clean more. And eat healthier. And call my mom twice a week. And finish what I start. And maintain what I finish. And . . .

    I’m a raging perfectionist. A dent in my car drives me nuts, I don’t leave the house without mascara, and I hate it when my junk drawer isn’t organized. And I keep track of my Bridget Jones–style stats—pounds gained or lost, stuff accomplished, stuff not accomplished.

    While on the surface those things are minor, at their root is my desire to be admired for being perfectly put together.

    In the past few years, God has nudged me (more like shoved me) down a better road. Coming to terms with my addiction to perfection in all its forms has been exhausting, but freedom is on the horizon. The result? This book—a journal of sorts that tracks what I’ve been learning along the way.

    I’m hoping my transparency will help pry away the things that have become my idols, loosening their grip on my heart and mind.

    And I pray God will use my journey to further yours.
     
     
    My Review:
     
     This was a light easy to read book. The author clearly shows her own struggles and gives suggestions for others in the same situation. There are a lot of little stories throughout the book based on real life to help illustrate the main point of the chapter. I enjoyed reading those. It is a little comforting to know others struggle the same way I do in the same areas and I'm not all alone. The author is very honest and there is some humor in the book. There is a study guide at the end of the book if you want to use it study or in a group setting. This is a Christian book. The author's faith shows through in the scriptures throughout the book and her testimony. You do not have to be a perfectionist to like this book. Recommended.   
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
    Amanda Jenkins, before life as a homemaker and mother of four, worked in sales and marketing for a number of Christian retailers, as well as in visual communications and advertising. She spent ten years in L.A. alongside her film-making husband, surrounded by plastic surgery and high-falutin' lifestyles, which is where she became convicted and inspired to write about her struggle with perfectionism. Amanda attended Northwestern Bible College and graduated with a degree in Biblical Studies and Communications. She has taught Bible studies for women of all ages for the past 14 years, and is passionate about communicating truth in a culturally relevant and humorous way. Today, she lives just outside of Chicago with her husband, Dallas, and their four young children, including their newly adopted son.

    Into the Whirlwind by Elizabeth Camden

    This week, the
    Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
    is introducing
    Into the Whirlwind
    Baker Publishing Group (August 15, 2013)
    by
    Elizabeth Camden


    ABOUT THE AUTHOR:


    A research librarian and associate professor, Elizabeth Camden has a master’s in history from the University of Virginia and a master’s in library science from Indiana University. She has published several articles for academic publications and is the author of four nonfiction history books. Her ongoing fascination with history and love of literature have led her to write inspirational fiction. Elizabeth lives with her husband in central Florida.




    ABOUT THE BOOK

    After her father's death, Mollie Knox takes over his watchmaking company and uses her head for business to solidify the good name of the 57th Illinois Watch Company. Her future looks bright until the night her beloved city is destroyed in the legendary Great Chicago Fire. With her world crumbling around her, Molly must do whatever it takes to save her company in the aftermath of the devastating fire.

    Zack Kazmarek is an influential attorney with powerful ties to the political, mercantile, and ethnic roots of Chicago. His only weakness is Mollie Knox, a woman who has always been just beyond his reach. However, all bets are off after the fire destroys Chicago, and Mollie is in desperate need of assistance. Just as Zack finally begins to pursue the woman he loves, competition arises in the form of a hero from her past who can provide the help she needs to rise from the ashes.

    While Mollie struggles to rebuild, the two men battle for her heart. One has always loved her, but the other has the power to save her. In the race to rebuild the city, can she survive with her business and her heart intact?

    If you would like to read the first chapter of Into the Whirlwind, go HERE.

    The Lost Medallion by Bill Muir and Alex Kendrick

    This week, the
    Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
    is introducing
    The Lost Medallion
    B&H Kids; Mti edition (June 1, 2013)
    by
    Bill Muir and Alex Kendrick


    ABOUT THE AUTHORS:

    Bill Muir is a popular speaker, an international award winning film maker and a sought-after consultant.

    Having completed his new novels The Lost Medallion and A Hidden Treasure, Bill has turned his creativity to his new Children’s novel, Howdy Neighbors.

    When Bill isn’t writing a novel, he’s busy directing and producing movies. He recently spent four months in Thailand filming, The Lost Medallion: the adventures of Billy Stone. The movie will be in theaters this fall. When he isn’t working on movies, he’s having fun with his family working their farm.

    Alex Kendrick is associate pastor of movie outreach for Sherwood Baptist Church. He is also an actor, writer, and director whose film credits include Facing the Giants, Fireproof, and Courageous. He and his wife, Christina, have six children.

    ABOUT THE BOOK

    Archaeologist Dr. Michael Stone looked for the lost medallion his entire life, and now his son Billy has taken up the search. Amazingly, the medallion ends up in Billy's hands and a spontaneous wish in a precarious situation takes Billy and his best friend Allie, back 200 years to what they realize is a very different Aumakua Island. When Billy and his friends are not jumping off waterfalls, avoiding animal traps, crossing the ocean, sneaking through caves or escaping a prison they're facing their nemesis Cobra, who wants nothing more than for them all to disappear. With no other way to get home, and the well being of the entire island resting on his shoulders, Billy must discover the key to reclaiming the medallion and its tremendous power. One way or another, this adventure will change Billy, and life on the island, forever. Best-selling author and film director Alex Kendrick (The Love Dare, Courageous) and Youth for Christ veteran Bill Muir bring us this exciting novelization of The Lost Medallion movie.

    If you would like to read the first chapter of The Lost Medallion, go HERE.

    Monday, August 19, 2013

    Impact Player by Bobby Richardson with David Thomas (Review)



  • Hardcover: 320 pages

  • Publisher: Tyndale House Publishers; First Edition edition (August 17, 2012)

  • ISBN-13: 978-1414372730



  • From the Inside Flap

    I don’t know how many more innings I have yet to play. . . .

    What I do know, however, is that I have lived a blessed life. I played more than fourteen hundred games in the major leagues, all with the New York Yankees. I played in seven World Series, three times on the winning team. I received individual accolades and made lasting friendships. I was able to coach and show young college players the Yankee way of baseball and, I hope, God’s way of living. And I’ve been asked to share the story of my faith more times than I can estimate.

    If my life is a testament to anything, it is to God’s mercy and grace. I have been blessed far beyond what I deserve. My aim in both baseball and life has been simple: to make an impact by being used by God in the lives of others.

    When accounts of my life are written, I hope two things will be said of me. First, that I played baseball in a way that made my team better. Second, and more important, that I lived my life in a way that drew others to my Savior.

    To God be the glory.
    —Bobby Richardson
     
     
    My Review:
     
    I thought this was a good easy to read baseball memoir about Bobby Richardson. I have almost zero knowledge of sports so some of the baseball details went over my head. I was impressed at how strong his faith is and how he shared it over his whole life including a career in baseball. It was interesting to me to hear the stories behind the ball. The different players he was friends with and the lasting relationships he made impressed me. His dedication to his family was impressive also. I was craving something different to read and this was perfect. Recommended to fans of baseball and memoirs. :)
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
    Bobby Richardson played second base for the New York Yankees from 1955 to 1966. During his career, he was named to seven All-Star teams (’57, ’59, ’62, ’63, ’64, ’65, and ’66), he appeared in seven World Series, including three championship seasons (’58, ’61, and ’62), and he remains to this day the only player from a losing team ever to be named World Series MVP. One of only eighteen players ever to hit a World Series grand slam, Bobby still holds the MLB record for the most consecutive World Series games played (thirty).

    After retiring from MLB in 1966, Bobby went on to coach baseball for the University of South Carolina and later at Liberty University. An outspoken Christian, he played a vital role in the creation of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes and Baseball Chapel and is still an active speaker and evangelist.

    Bobby lives in Sumter, South Carolina, with his wife, Betsy. They are the proud parents of five children and fifteen grandchildren.

    David Thomas is a former sportswriter, the author of Remember Why You Play, and the cowriter of All In and SEAL of God. He lives in the Dallas–Fort Worth area with his wife, Sally, and their two children.

    Saturday, August 17, 2013

    Chivalry by Zach Hunter (Review)








  • Paperback: 240 pages

  • Publisher: Tyndale Momentum (June 21, 2013)

  • ISBN-13: 978-1414376356



  • Chivalry is alive and well— it’s just not what you expected

    It’s not a list of rules teaching guys how to treat girls. It’s a way for young men and women—all of us—to live justly in an unjust world. As a generation rising up to care for the hurting and oppressed, we are passionate about justice and willing to fight for it. But as we reach out to help those who are hungry, sick, or poor . . . we’re also seeing less civil and kind behavior in our daily lives. Less honor, mercy, selflessness, and love.

    Enter the cause of chivalry. Turning traditional notions of chivalry upside down, Zach Hunter draws from ten principles of the ancient knights and unites them with the teachings of Jesus, resulting in a code of personal justice that—if we live it out today—will transform us.

    Embark on the quest for chivalry . . . and every day will be an adventure as you discover how to defend others, act with integrity, and live with courage and significance.


    My Review:

    This was an inspirational Christian non fiction book targeted mainly to teen and college students. As a grown woman I also took away some valuable information. I felt the Holy Spirit convicting me on several of the ten principles laid out in the book. This book is not about knights and damsels or opening doors for women. It is about living with purpose and honorably. It applies to both male and females. I felt convicted to work on being more selfless and having greater control over my speech. Also I was inspired by the idea of having a quest. This young man obviously has at least one. I definitely recommend this book for anybody especially young adults.

    The 10 principles:
    I will not go on this journey alone
    I will never attack from behind
    I will practice self control and selflessness
    I will respect life and freedom
    I will fight only for the sake of those who are unable to defend themselves, for in the defense of justice.
    I will honor truth and will always keep my promises
    I will fear no evil
    I will always follow the law, unless it goes against what is moral and good
    I will live and die with honor
    I will never abandon my quest






    Zach Hunter is a teenage abolitionist and activist, spending much of his time working to end modern-day slavery around the world and fighting other problems in the world today. When he was twelve, he started a campaign called Loose Change to Loosen Chains, helping to raise awareness and money to free people from slavery. The author of Be the Change, Zach speaks to hundreds of thousands of people each year, inspiring them to find their passion and make a change in the world

    Friday, August 16, 2013

    The Letters by Suzanne Woods Fisher (Review)








  • Series: The Inn at Eagle Hill (Book 1)
  • Paperback: 320 pages

  • Publisher: Revell (August 1, 2013)

  • ISBN-13: 978-0800720933



  • Book one in Suzanne’s brand new series; The Inn at Eagle Hill. 

    Rose Schrock is a plain woman with a simple plan. Determined to find a way to support her family and pay off her late husband’s debts, she sets to work to convert the basement of her Amish farmhouse into an inn. While her family, especially her cranky mother-in-law, is unhappy with Rose’s big idea, her friend and neighbor, Galen King, supports the decision and he helps with the conversion. As Rose finalizes preparations for visitors, she prays. She asks God to bless each guest who stays at the Inn at Eagle Hill. As the first guest arrives and settles in, Rose is surprised to discover that her entire family is the one who receives the blessings, in the most unexpected ways. And she’s even more surprised when that guest decides to play matchmaker for Galen King.

    With her signature plot twists combined with gentle Amish romance, bestselling author Suzanne Woods Fisher invites readers back to Stoney Ridge for fresh stories of simple pleasures despite the complexity of life. Fisher’s tale of God’s providence and provision will delight her fans and create many new ones. Welcome to the Inn at Eagle Hill.

    My Review:

    This is one of my favorite Amish fiction authors. I enjoyed reading the first book in the new series, The Inn at Eagle Hill. As always it was well written with interesting and unique plot and characters. I also liked the secondary plot involving the guests especially Delia. Rose pulls herself up by shoe strings after her husband dies and leaves them broke. She moves in with her strict Amish mother in law with her children. The mother in law is a very difficult woman to deal with and her health is suffering. She makes Rose's life harder than necessary on purpose. Rose decides to change part of the house into an inn to pay the bills. In the middle of all this Galen her neighbor steps in to help and becomes a good friend. All of the plot lines wrap up nicely in a satisfying conclusion. I look forward to the next book in the series. Recommended. :)






    About the author:

    Suzanne Woods Fisher is the bestselling author of the Lancaster County Secrets series and the Stoney Ridge Seasons series, as well as nonfiction books about the Amish, including Amish Peace. She is also the coauthor of a new Amish children's series, The Adventures of Lily Lapp. Her interest in the Anabaptist cultures can be directly traced to her grandfather, who was raised in the Old Order German Baptist Brethren Church in Franklin County, Pennsylvania. Suzanne is a Carol Award winner and a Christy Award finalist. She is a columnist for Christian Post and Cooking & Such magazines. She lives in California. For more information, please visit suzannewoodsfisher.com and connect with her on Twitter @suzannewfisher. Get Amish proverbs delivered right to your iPhone or iPad! Download the Free App! http://bit.ly/134r55G

    Learn more about Lily at http://adventuresoflilylapp.com/

    Review copy provided by Litfuse Publicity in exchange for an honest review.

    Wednesday, August 14, 2013

    Rules of Murder by Julianna Deering (Review)

    This week, the
    Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
    is introducing
    Rules of Murder
    Bethany House Publishers (August 1, 2013)
    by
    Julianna Deering


    ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

    JULIANNA DEERING has always been an avid reader and a lover of storytelling, whether on the page, the screen or the stage. This, along with her keen interest in history and her Christian faith, shows in her tales of love, forgiveness and triumph over adversity. A fifth-generation Texan, she makes her home north of Dallas with three spoiled cats and, when not writing, spends her free time quilting, cross stitching and watching NHL hockey. Her new series of Drew Farthering mysteries set in 1930s England debuts with Rules of Murder (Bethany House, 2013) and will be followed by Death by the Book (Bethany House, 2014).



    ABOUT THE BOOK



    Downton Abbey Meets Agatha Christie in This Sparkling Mystery

    Drew Farthering loves a good mystery, although he generally expects to find it in the pages of a novel, not on the grounds of his country estate. When a weekend party at Farthering Place is ruined by murder and the police seem flummoxed, Drew decides to look into the crime himself. With the help of his best friend, Nick Dennison, an avid mystery reader, and Madeline Parker, a beautiful and whip-smart American debutante staying as a guest, the three try to solve the mystery as a lark, using the methods from their favorite novels.

    Soon, financial irregularities at Drew's stepfather's company come to light and it's clear that all who remain at Farthering Place could be in danger. Trying hard to remain one step ahead of the killer--and trying harder to impress Madeline--Drew must decide how far to take this game.

    If you would like to read the first chapter of Rules of Murder, go HERE.

    My Review:

    I thought this was an okay English Christian mystery book. It was light on the spiritual side. The characters and plot were interesting but not very deep. It was a light easy read. It was set in the 1930s England and the author did set the atmosphere right. I look forward to the next book in the series. I hope it is deeper and more developed plot wise. Recommended especially to fans of cozy English mysteries.

    Sunday, August 11, 2013

    Frame 232 by Wil Mara (Review)







  • Paperback: 448 pages

  • Publisher: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc. (June 21, 2013)

  • ISBN-13: 978-1414359519




  • The time had come, she decided, to rid herself of this burden, to take the steps necessary to put the matter to rest once and for all. And the first step, she knew—against every instinct and desire—was to watch that film.

    During the reading of her mother’s will, Sheila Baker discovers that she has inherited everything her parents ever possessed, including their secrets. A mysterious safe-deposit box key leads her to the answers to one of history’s greatest conspiracies: Who killed John F. Kennedy? Not only does she have the missing film, revealing her mother as the infamous babushka lady, but she has proof that there was more than one shooter.

    On the run from people who would stop at nothing to keep secrets buried, Sheila turns to billionaire sleuth Jason Hammond for help. Having lost his own family in a tragic plane crash, Jason knows a thing or two about running from the past. With a target on their backs and time running out, can Jason finally uncover the truth behind the crime that shook a generation—or will he and Sheila become its final victims?



    My Review:

    This was a great book. I enjoyed reading it. The characters and plot were well developed and interesting. It held my attention from page one. The JFK murder conspiracy theory is well known. I loved Shelia and Jason and how they interact. The book was a combination thriller, suspense, mystery, and a tiny bit romance. The characters were believable and real. The story is told from a few point of views including Jason. The plot details were great and not confusing. The author describes the conspiracy and the details around it interweaving the modern day plots. I can't wait to read the next Jason Hammond book. Recommended.







    Wil Mara is the award-winning novelist of the 2005 disaster thriller 'Wave.' His second book in the disaster group, 'The Gemini Virus,' was released by Macmillan Publishing in October of 2012 to tremendous reviews by consumers and critics alike. In 2013, he released the first book in a new suspense series, 'Frame 232,' which features pivotal character Jason Hammond. 'Frame 232' begins with the discovery of new evidence concerning the Kennedy assassination. Wil is currently writing the second Jason Hammond novel, 'The Nevada Testament,' and developing the next story in the disaster series. He has also written extensively for the school library market. More information about his work can be found at www.wilmara.com.
     

    Wednesday, August 7, 2013

    Wings of Glass by Gina Holmes (Review)





  • Paperback: 400 pages

  • Publisher: Tyndale House Publishers (February 18, 2013)

  • ISBN-13: 978-1414366418




  • From the best-selling author of Crossing Oceans comes a heartrending yet uplifting story of friendship and redemption. On the cusp of adulthood, eighteen-year-old Penny Carson is swept off her feet by a handsome farmhand with a confident swagger. Though Trent Taylor seems like Prince Charming and offers an escape from her one-stop-sign town, Penny’s happily-ever-after lasts no longer than their breakneck courtship. Before the ink even dries on their marriage certificate, he hits her for the first time. It isn’t the last, yet the bruises that can’t be seen are the most painful of all.

    When Trent is injured in a welding accident and his paycheck stops, he has no choice but to finally allow Penny to take a job cleaning houses. Here she meets two women from very different worlds who will teach her to live and laugh again, and lend her their backbones just long enough for her to find her own.


    My Review:

    This was a well written heart rending book. The main topic was domestic abuse in a married couple. Trent and Penny have a mostly typical relationship for abuse. He isolated her from her family and she does not have any friends. He is a sorry excuse for a husband and man but she loves him anyway. I wanted to shake her myself several times when she stayed or went back. The author does a good with descriptions and character development. I felt like I was really there. I liked when Penny was able to get a job and met Callie and Fatiyma. They are a hoot and provide welcome comic relief in the story. They are also real friends and try to help her. The faith element is present. The characters explore the topic of divorce in the Bible. The ending is satisfying. Although the subject matter is tough the book was still a good read. Recommended to fans of contemporary fiction.




     

    Gina Holmes is the President and founder of popular literary site, Novel Rocket, and award-winning author of Crossing Oceans, Dry as Rain, and Wings of Glass. She resides with her husband and children in southern Virginia. She works too hard, laughs too loud, and longs to see others heal from their past and discover their God-given purpose. To learn more about her, visit www.ginaholmes.com

    Or find her on facebook: http://www.facebook.com/authorginaholmes

    Millie's Treasure by Kathleen Y'Barbo

    This week, the
    Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
    is introducing
    Millie's Treasure
    Harvest House Publishers (August 1, 2013)
    by
    Kathleen Y'Barbo


    ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

    RITA and Carol award nominee Kathleen Y’Barbo is the best-selling, award-winning author of more than forty novels, novellas, and young adult books. In all, more than one million copies of her books are currently in print in the US and abroad, and her books have been translated into Dutch, German, and Spanish, to name a few.

    Kathleen is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers and Romance Writers of America. She holds a BBA from Texas A&M University’s Mays Business School and a certification in Paralegal Studies, and is a former member of the Texas Bar Association’s Paralegal Division.

    A tenth-generation Texan, Kathleen Y’Barbo has four children of her own as well as seven bonus kids she gladly inherited when she married her own hero in combat boots. Kathleen is proud to be a military wife, even if it did mean giving up her Texas drivers license.

    ABOUT THE BOOK

    From bestselling author Kathleen Y'Barbo comes Millie's Treasure, the second book in The Secret Lives of Will Tucker series, a new set of novels involving romance, adventure, and hidden identity.

    Memphis 1890--Bookish heiress Millie Jean Cope is as clever as she is beautiful. Unfortunately, though adept at solving puzzles and cryptograms, she doesn't realize her new fiancé isn't who he claims to be, but instead is a charming scoundrel. The infamous Will Tucker is presenting himself as a British gentleman, Sir William Trueck, though in reality he is a crafty criminal looking for a hidden map to a secret treasure.

    Pinkerton agent Kyle Russell has been on Tucker's trail for years. At last Kyle believes he has Tucker cornered, but he is uncertain whether the lovely woman on the con man's arm is an unsuspecting victim or willing accomplice. Finding reasons to spend time with Millie is easy. Keeping himself from falling in love with her is another issue entirely. A fun and entertaining story of how God can shine the light of truth on the most cryptic circumstances.

    If you would like to read the first chapter of >Millie's Treasure, go HERE.

    Sunday, August 4, 2013

    Borders of the Heart by Chris Fabry (Review)


  • Paperback: 400 pages

  • Publisher: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.; Original edition (September 20, 2012)

  • ISBN-13: 978-1414348629


  • Desperate to escape haunting memories, J. D. Jessup travels from Nashville to Tucson and volunteers on an organic farm. The hardened landowner has one prevailing rule: If J. D. sees an "illegal," call the border patrol. But when an early morning ride along the fence line leads him to a beautiful young woman named Maria, near death in the desert, his heart pulls him in another direction. Longing to atone for the choices that drove him to Tucson, J. D. hides her and unleashes a chain of deadly events he could never have imagined. Soon they are running from a killer and fighting for their lives. As secrets of their pasts emerge, J. D. realizes that saving Maria may be the only way to save himself.

    My Review:

    I did not enjoy reading this book. I am not sure why maybe because the pace was slow and dragged a bit. There was not enough plot development throughout the book. It lagged in spots where it seemed the main characters were doing the same thing over and over. J.D. and Maria spent a lot of time on the run. There was the same debate between them until the end of the book.The plot line itself was interesting and the characters well developed for the most part. I could feel the atmosphere and see the setting which this author is good at. The ending was good and I liked it. Many times I had to suspend belief though. I have read other books by him before and liked them.

    Biography

    My stories come from life and sometimes art imitates stories.

    Four years ago my family and I moved to the desert. I'm not a desert person. But I knew the experience would at some point provide a rich, fertile place to tell a dusty tale.

    Borders of the Heart is my nod toward some of the great western writers--Cormac McCarthy and Larry McMurtry. It's a love story, a painful story of loss, a mystery, and an edge-of-your-seat thriller. I hope you enjoy the ride through Tucson and the surrounding area as much as I did.

    If you haven't read it yet, Not in the Heart is another riveting, suspenseful, and yet relational story. A mystery within a mystery within an addiction. I dedicate it to all who have someone in their life who is addicted.

    ABOUT CHRIS

    I was born in West Virginia in 1961. I read a lot, but not very fast, and wrote poems, songs, and transcribed Marx Brothers movies and memorized dialogue.

    In 1984 I met Jerry Jenkins at Moody Bible Institute. He offered to help me learn to write and I took him up on the offer. In 1998, Jerry and Dr. Tim LaHaye hired me to help write the Left Behind: The Kids series. After that I worked on several other series for children and then published my first adult novel in 2008. It took more than six years to write Dogwood and find a publisher. It received a 2009 Christy Award.

    My next novel, June Bug, drew its themes from the classic Victor Hugo tale, Les Miserables. Then, Almost Heaven released and also won a couple of awards.

    I graduated from the W. Page Pitt School of Journalism at Marshall University in Huntington, West Virginia. I have been married to Andrea since 1982. We have nine children. In October of 2008, our family evacuated our house in Colorado, leaving behind all our belongings because of a toxic mold situation. Since then we have been living near Tucson, Arizona, working on recovering our health after the mold exposure.

    Stop by my website at www.chrisfabry.com to learn more about my writing and radio endeavors, and be sure to sign up for my online newsletter, the FABRYGRAM. I can also be found on Facebook and Twitter, or you can email me at chris@chrisfabry.com.
     

    Saturday, August 3, 2013

    If You Have a Craving, I Have a Cure by Sheri Rose Shepherd (Review)



  • Paperback: 224 pages

  • Publisher: Tyndale Momentum (December 20, 2012)

  • ISBN-13: 978-1414366920



  • Life can be hard . . . but food, faith, and fun are three amazing gifts from God to satisfy and refresh us every day. Yet all too often, we focus primarily on what we can not do, and what we should not eat—which leaves us feeling deprived and depressed. Instead of being energized by following Christ, we waste our days feeling bored and burnt-out on our faith, while battling the guilt that comes from craving the food that we love. In If You Have a Craving, I Have a Cure, best-selling author and speaker Sheri Rose Shepherd encourages you to embark on a new adventure with faith and food. She reveals the food coaching tips that enabled her to lose over 50 pounds and keep it off, and shares fun recipes in celebration of the healthy, delicious food our God created for us to enjoy. It’s time to let go of guilt, grab hold of grace, and recapture the life God craves for us to live! “Taste and see that the Lord is good. Oh, the joys of those who take refuge in him!” (Psalm 34:8)


    My Review:

    This was a light easy book to read and did not take a lot of time. It is not deeply spiritual like I expected. It is also not a diet plan. It is filled with interesting recipes that follow each chapter. The chapters are divided by cravings for example something sweet. There are a few bible verses and an excerpt from her life in each chapter. I was hoping for something deeper. There are nuggets of gold though. The recipes are numerous following each chapter. There is also a code or link to get more information. The recipes are healthier versions of favorites and new recipes. Recommended.


    Biography

    Best-selling Author, Speaker, Teacher, Humorist

    Sheri Rose has a very refreshing way of bringing the Word of God to life. She knows how to renew the Eternal Hope in our hearts. Her speaking style is humorous, heartwarming and inspires every one to make their life count for eternity.

    Sheri Rose is a woman who can relate to almost any woman's battle. This former Mrs. United States grew up in a dysfunctional home and was severely overweight as a teen. As a young woman, she battled depression and an eating disorder. She understands the pain that comes from a broken home and she knows what it means to fight for freedom from your past. In spite of an English teacher telling her she was "born to lose" and a learning disorder--Dyslexia--Sheri Rose has (in God's strength) written best-selling books, founded His Princess Ministries and speaks to tens of thousands each year at churches and women's conferences like the Extraordinary Women Tour.

    Her Joy for the Lord, humorous heart-warming stories mixed with truth and transparency renews our Faith by reminding us how much we are truly loved and adored by our Father in heaven. Once you heard Sheri Rose speak you will never again doubt that you are..."God's Chosen Princess"... here for a divine purpose!

    She lives in Southern California with her husband of 22 years and their daughter.

    Rutherford Park by Elizabeth Cooke (Review)



  • Paperback: 336 pages

  • Publisher: Berkley Trade (July 2, 2013)

  • ISBN-13: 978-0425262580



  • Snow had fallen in the night, and now the great house, standing at the head of the valley, seemed like a five-hundred-year old ship sailing in a white ocean…

    For the Cavendish family, Rutherford Park is much more than a place to call home. It is a way of life marked by rigid rules and lavish rewards, governed by unspoken desires…

    Lady of the house Octavia Cavendish lives like a bird in a gilded cage. With her family’s fortune, her husband, William, has made significant additions to the estate, but he too feels bound—by the obligations of his title as well as his vows. Their son, Harry, is expected to follow in his footsteps, but the boy has dreams of his own, like pursuing the new adventure of aerial flight. Meanwhile, below stairs, a housemaid named Emily holds a secret that could undo the Cavendish name.

    On Christmas Eve 1913, Octavia catches a glimpse of her husband in an intimate moment with his beautiful and scandalous distant cousin. She then spies the housemaid Emily out in the snow, walking toward the river, about to make her own secret known to the world. As the clouds of war gather on the horizon, an epic tale of longing and betrayal is about to unfold at Rutherford Park.


    My Review:


    This book had several plot lines within the main one. The main one revolved around Octavia Cavendish and her life. She is a rich lady in England and lives at the estate Rutherford Park. She is married to William but their relationship is a shadow of what it was when they first married. She catches him kissing his cousin one day and learns he has another son by her. Her life is completely shaken up by that and the secrets her children have. Her son fathered a child by one of the servants who ends up killing herself. He also wants to fly planes instead of keeping up the family business. The daughter has her own issues including falling for a con man. Everything eventually comes out. Lives will never be the same but the family is still together and the war starting in Europe will keep changing their world. Fans of Downtown Abbey will love this book. It is definitely an English book.





    Elizabeth Cooke lives in Dorset in southern England and is the author of twelve novels, among them the international bestseller The Ice Child. Her last book, the non-fiction The Damnation of John Donellan was described as "a masterpiece" by The Times. She has a long-established reputation for vivid storytelling and historical accuracy.

    Elizabeth's family originates in the North Yorkshire Dales - Bronte country - and her grandfather worked at Kiplin Hall, where he was one of the "downstairs" staff. His life, and Yorkshire itself - both its outstanding natural beauty and the industrial life of its mill towns and cities - were the inspiration for Rutherford Park. Elizabeth is currently working on the second Rutherford book.


    Review copy provided by publisher in exchange for an honest review.