Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Daily Gifts of Grace

From the publisher:
Women of Faith speakers share insight, advice, laughter, and maybe even a few tears in this daily devotional. Voices from fiction, recognizable names from Christian conferences, and well-known Christian writers also are included.
Daily Gifts of Grace is a daily devotional designed specifically for women, with a beautiful hardbound case and a magnetic closure. Readers will be pleased to open it for a devotion that will help them face the day or for an inspirational devotion to close the day.
Contributors include Joni Eareckson Tada, Lisa Whelchel, Jenna Lucado, Sheila Walsh, Kim Cash Tate, Patsy Clairmont, Natalie Grant, Lisa Harper, and others.

A year or so ago Lisa Whelchel came to speak at my church. It was an all day event, and I wondered if I would be able to "sit through" so much lecture. Lisa was dynamic, interesting, and funny. It was like a good friend was up there talking just to me~despite the huge crowd of women listening with me. Our church and many neighboring churches contributed to bringing her to our town, and they all started her Bible Study, The Busy Mom's Guide to Bible Study following her visit. I joined one of the studies and enjoyed it. She was about to release her book, Friendship for Grownups, and I couldn't wait to read it. I started following her on Twitter and that's how I found out about the Booksneeze blogger program. She tweeted the her book was available for free through the program and I joined to get it. It was my first Booksneeze review. I loved her book, and when I saw that she was one of the contributing authors to Daily Gifts of Grace, Devotions for Each Day of Your Year, I knew I would most likely enjoy the book. I recognized a few of the other names also, and decided to give it a try. 

Each daily devotional starts with a Bible passage and is followed by a story, metaphor, or thought by one of the contributing authors. The writing is followed by a short prayer. I enjoyed them because although they are short enough to read quickly (I have three kids three and under, a full time job, and grad school), the are deep enough to be thought provoking. In addition, they invite the reader to dig deeper into the scripture that is quoted at the beginning of the daily writing. I look forward to starting the book over and digging deeper throughout the coming year.

I received a complimentary copy of this book through the Thomas Nelson Publishing Booksneeze blogger program in exchange for an honest review.

Sunday, December 25, 2011

First Date



Addy Davidson is the last girl in the country who wants to be on the new reality TV show to win a date to prom with the President’s son. She’s focused on her schoolwork so she can get a scholarship to an Ivy League college, uncomfortable in the spotlight, never been on a date, and didn’t even audition for it.
But she got selected anyway.
So she does her best to get eliminated on the very first show… right before she realizes that the President’s son is possibly the most attractive guy she has ever seen in person, surprisingly nice, and seemingly unimpressed by the 99 other girls who are throwing themselves at him.
Addy’s totally out of her comfort zone—but that may be right where God can show her the most about who she is . . . and who she was meant to be.

 When I read the summary of this book on Booksneeze's website, I though it sounded like a great book. When I finally finished my last book and found First Date on the list of available eBook titles, I was excited. There were only two reviews for it, but it only average 2 1/2 stars which made me a little weary, but I requested it anyway. I am so glad I did! I loved this book. 

The "good guy" characters a loving and sweet, causing the reader to root for them to succeed. The "mean girls" (and guy) are mean enough that at the beginning, the reader wants them to fail, but after walking with Addy and seeing her lovingly reach out to them we're left kind of rooting for them too. The book has a cute storyline and is fast-paced enough to keep the reader interested without moving too quickly. I thoroughly enjoyed this book, and hope to read more from Krista McGee in the future.

 I received a complimentary copy of First Date through Thomas Nelson Publishing's Booksneeze blogging program in exchange for an honest review.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Bittersweet Surrender



Carly Westlake is living the dream. She spends her days at a spa (okay, so she owns the place), she's dating a hunk, and she's surrounded by chocolate—milk chocolate, her favorite—that she uses for the chocolate facials that made her spa famous.
But when long buried secrets threaten Carly's business and her friendship with business-partner Scott, she fights like crazy to keep the dream—and the illusions—afloat.
It takes a miracle of grace to get Carly to finally make that bittersweet surrender to love and real life.

 I received a complimentary eBook of Bittersweet Surrender by Diann Hunt through the Thomas Nelson Publishing Booksneeze blogger program in exchange for a review. I was not required to provide a positive review and all opinions are my own. 

Bittersweet Surrender started out a bit slow for me. However, the buildup was needed to provide enough information about the characters and situations to make the ending as worthwhile as it is. This book is a perfect example of the tangled web that lies create, and also of the grace that God provides. Carly feels like she is broken both physically because of breast cancer and emotionally because of her husband leaving her when she needed him most. Another character in the book sees her as beautiful inside and out, and reminds her that Jesus sees her that way too. The book is set in a town that neighbors Smitten, a town that Hunt co-wrote a book about with three other authors. It was fun to read references to the other book too.

Princess Stories

Princess Stories is the big sister to popular board book My Princess Bible. Princess Stories, appropriate for girls ages 4 to 8, is a collection of first-person narrative stories about 29 women in the Bible—and the 30th story is about the reader, who is God's princess too.

In each four-page story, the reader gets a rhyming verse about the princess (addressed to "Mirror, mirror on the wall"), a first-person story of the featured Bible woman and the special quality her life reflects, a Bible verse from another passage of Scripture that summarizes/relates to the character trait, and Princess Ponderings—questions that help girls and their parents discuss the stories and relate the lessons to life.

Through this book, girls will learn more in-depth stories of women of the Bible and how to apply Scripture to their own lives.


I received a complimentary copy of Princess Stories by Carolyn Larsen through the Tyndale Blog Network in exchange for a review. I was not required to provide a positive review and all opinions are my own.

This is a cute book about the women of the Bible, designed to capitalize on society's infatuation with the Disney princesses. I enjoyed the format of the book, using a "Mirror Mirror" poem at the beginning of reach story is a nice way to draw the kids into the story. Changing to the princess' point of view allows the children to feel like the character is more real than it would be in a third person storyline. The last page for each princess has three discussion questions that the parent/guardian can talk with the kid(s) about after each story, helping to bring the story into real life and the child's life. My girls are 3 and 2, and this is a little bit beyond them right now. I'd say that if would be much better suited for children 5 and up.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

The Harvest of Grace


Reeling from an unexpected betrayal, can Sylvia find relief from the echoes of her past…or will they shape her future forever?


Although Sylvia Fisher recognizes that most Old Order Amish women her age spend their hours managing a household and raising babies, she has just one focus—tending and nurturing the herd on her family’s dairy farm. But when a dangerous connection with an old beau forces her to move far from home, she decides to concentrate on a new start and pour her energy into reviving another family’s debt-ridden farm.


After months in rehab, Aaron Blank returns home to sell his Daed’s failing farm and move his parents into an easier lifestyle. Two things stand in his way: the father who stubbornly refuses to recognize that Aaron has changed and the determined new farmhand his parents love like a daughter. Her influence on Aaron’s parents could ruin his plans to escape the burdens of farming and build a new life.


Can Aaron and Sylvia find common ground? Or will their unflinching efforts toward opposite goals blur the bigger picture— a path to forgiveness, glimpses of grace, and the promise of love.


I received a complimentary copy of Cindy Woodsmall's The Harvest of Grace; an Ada's House Novel through the Waterbrook Multnomah Blogging for Books blogger program in exchange for a review. I am not required to provide a positive review, and all opinions are my own.

This book was excellent. I can honestly say that something happens towards the beginning of the novel that made my jaw drop! I don't think that has ever happened to me. They betrayal that Sylvia has to endure is beyond anything that I expected. The healing and grace that is depicted within this novel is completely moving. I enjoy Amish fiction, but this book truely is a notch above all others that I have read. I think I need to go out and get the Ada's House books from before this, even though I know the outcome of them through the characters in this one. Definately a well-deserved 5 starts out of 5.

Heart of Ice

The Triple Threat Club novels follow three fiercely intelligent women—a TV reporter, a Federal prosecutor and an FBI agent—as they investigate crimes as current as today’s headlines.


The Triple Threat women have faced intense situations before…but never such a cunningly cold-blooded murderer.



Elizabeth Avery is a stunningly beautiful woman. But her perfectly managed exterior hides the ice cold heart of a killer. She ingeniously manipulates everyone who crosses her path to do exactly as she wishes--from crime reporter Cassidy Shaw, who thinks Elizabeth is her new best friend, to a shy young man Elizabeth persuades to kill for her.



As Elizabeth leaves a trail of bodies in her wake, Federal prosecutor Allison Pierce and FBI agent Nicole Hedges must piece together clues from seemingly unrelated crimes. Can they stop her before she reaches her unthinkable, ultimate end-game?

I received a complimentary copy of Lis Wiehl's Heart of Ice throught the Thomas Nelson Publishing Booksneeze blogger program in exchange for a review. I am not required to provide a positive review and all opinions are my own.

Heart of Ice is a book that will leave you wanting to know what happens next with every turn of the page. It is a Christian based crime novel that shows the story from many different persepectives at one time. The reader knows "who done it" all along, yet determining how the crime experts will put the pieces together is a mystery. In addition to the sometimes mind boggling crimes that are being committed, one of the main characters goes through a tragic life experience.

I thoroughly enjoyed the characters, storyline, and style of writing of Heart of Ice. The author kept the story going really well, and came to a satisfying conclusion. There are enough strings left untied to make the reader want to grab the next book in the series as soon as it is available, yet there are also enough strings tied up to not cause the reader to feel left in the cold at the conclusion of the book. I give it 4 stars out of 5.




Friday, December 2, 2011

Smitten



Four friends devise a plan to turn Smitten, Vermont, into the country's premier romantic getaway-and each finds her own true love along the way.


With Smitten Lumber closing, residents wonder if their town can stay afloat. Then four friends and local business owners-Natalie, Julia, Shelby, and Reese--decide the town is worth saving. How will they do it? They'll turn Smitten into a honeymoon destination!


As Natalie, Julia, Shelby, and Reese work to save the town, each discovers romance in her own life. Meanwhile, the faith of a little child reminds the whole town what it means to have real faith in the God who is the always and forever Love.


Discover a novel written by four of Christian fiction's most popular romance novelists- friends in real life who've drawn an amazing story of four friends! Includes a Reading Group Guide as well as "Conversation over Coffee with the Authors".


"Smitten" is the perfect novel for a hopeless romantic. Written by four talented authors, each took the tale from a different woman's perspective and continued the story where the previous author left off. Readers begin with Natalie and walk with her as she begins the process of transforming Smitten into a lover's destination. The story continues with each of her friends in turn as each woman contributes to the town's transformation and also magically falls in love herself. I enjoyed this book, but did get a litte weary of the predictible way that each woman was certainly going to end up with the man of her dreams by the end of her chapter. However, I expected that going in, with a book entitled "Smitten," that is about making a city into a romantic getaway! All in all, it was a decent book and I enjoyed it.


I received a complimentary copy of "Smitten" through the Thomas Nelson Publisher's Booksneeze blogger program in exchange for a review. I was not required to provide a positive review, and all opinions are my own.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Cliques, Hicks, and Ugly Sticks

"Just when April Grace thought the drama was over . . .


After an automobile accident, Isabel St. James—resident drama coach and drama queen—needs help putting together the church play. Mama insists April Grace and Myra Sue will help. April’s fall is now devoted to spending every afternoon with Isabel and Myra Sue—if anyone is as big of a drama queen as Isabel, it’s Myra Sue. Plus, she’s dumb. (Okay, not dumb, but "older sister dumb.") If that’s not enough, Isabel is wreaking havoc in the community trying to get Rough Creek Road paved, the new boy at school will not leave her alone, and then Mama drops the biggest bombshell of all . . . April Grace is no longer going to be the baby of the family . . .

Girls will completely relate to April and love her sense of humor as she deals with siblings, boys, and the many changes that come with growing up."

I received a complimentary copy of Cliques, Hicks, and Ugly Sticks Confessions of April Grace by KD McCrite through the Thomas Nelson Publishing Booksneeze blogger program in exchange for a review. I am not required to provide a positive review, and all opinions are my own.

I feel like a dork admitting it, but I tend to enjoy teen and preteen fiction. There, I said it. I like that the stories are easy to read, and usually quick reads that I can complete in a day or two even with a busy schedule. Sometimes I just don't want a heavy storyline. I thought that this would be one of those quick, cute books, but I was wrong. I was a little confused that it was set in the '80s, as most kids reading it wouldn't understand any of the '80s references. Many of the characters went by their first and middle names~maybe that's more common in Arkansas, where the story is set, but I don't know anyone that does that personally. The flow of the story was a little slow moving, but it certainly wasn't a bad story by any stretch of the imagination. All in all, I give it three stars. Take it or leave it.

Women of Faith

I really didn't know what to expect when I went to Women of Faith last month in St. Paul, Minnesota.

I knew it was a pretty big deal and I've known a handful of people who have gone, but really didn't know anything about it. I did some research before I went about the women who would be speaking and was very pleasantly surprised by the wide array of Godly women who spoke.

I sincerely feel that Women of Faith is an annointed ministry of God, and that they are reaching lives everywhere.

I was very touched, especially by the stories of Sheila Walsh and Angie Smith. I loved hearing God glorified through their stories. I was also very impressed by Dr. Henry Cloud, who spoke so frankly about psychological issues and how they work together with God's plan for our lives.

I also LOVED hearing MaryMary and Natalie Grant. I now follow all of these women on Twitter and can't help but feel like we are all old friends!

All in all, I was very impressed with the Women of Faith Imagine conference and am so thankful I had the opportunity to go! Thank you so much!

Friday, November 11, 2011

Attracted to Fire

Secret Service Agent Meghan Connors has dreamed of protecting the president. Now she is one assignment away from achieving her dream. Unfortunately, so is her direct supervisor~who hates having women on his team. This book is faith, mystery, and romance all rolled into one. Mills does an excellent job at creating deep characters that are flawed and scarred, just as real people are. While the "who done it" was a little predictable, the how, why, and who may have helped will keep you guessing until the end. I enjoyed every moment of this book. 

I received a complimentary copy of this book through the Tyndale Blog Network in exchange for a review. I was not required to provide a positive review and all opinions are my own. 

An Amish Wedding

I received a complimentary copy of An Amish Wedding by Beth Wiseman, Kathleen Fuller, and Kelly Long through the Thomas Nelson Publishing Booksneeze blogger program in exchange for an honest review. All opinions expressed are my own.

I thoroughly enjoyed this book. Wiseman, Fuller, and Long are favorite authors of mine and I was looking forward to this book as soon as it was announced. I expected three short stories that were unrelated to each other but had a wedding theme. My expectations were surpassed when I realized that the stories are actually of three different couples and their budding relationships in the days before one of their weddings. Each author took one couple's story. The book begins with Wiseman's tale of the bride-to-be's best friend and her fiance and continues with Fuller's telling of the same bride-to-be's sister just before the wedding and concludes with the bride-to-be and her wedding. If you enjoy Amish fiction, you will enjoy this book.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Lonestar Angel

When I read the description of Lonestar Angel on Thomas Nelson's Booksneeze Blogger program I knew I had to request a complimentary copy! I received a free download of the book in exchange for a review, and all opinions expressed are my own.

I was drawn into this book immediately, starting with the very first scene I wanted to know how these characters were going to fare. Eden is at a restaurant, anticipating being proposed to when her husband shows up to let her know that not only are they still married (she signed the divorce papers five years earlier), but he thinks he found their daughter, who was kidnapped five years ago and presumed dead. And that's just the first chapter. I enjoyed every word of this book, and would highly recommend it to everyone. I think I just found a new favorite author!

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Softly & Tenderly



I love Sara Evans' music. I often get lost in her sentimental songs and soulful voice. When I found out that she is now an author too, I was extremely excited to download a complimentary copy of Softly & Tenderly through the Booksneeze blogger program in exchange for a review. I was not required to provide a positive review and all opinions are my own. While it took a little while for me to get entirely engrossed in the book, by the end it had me crying along with the characters as they went through their journey. Although it is a second in a series (the first is Sweet By and By), I didn't fee like I was missing something by not having read Sweet By and By first. Even better, there's a third book coming out in the winter of 2012. If you enjoy the sentimentality of Sara Evans' music, you will certainly enjoy this book series.

Friday, October 21, 2011

It's today! It's today!

The Women of Faith conference is today and I am so excited! I have been a little apprehensive about it leading up to this morning because I really don't know what to expect. I have visited the website several times, so I know where I'm going and what I'm doing, but I have never participated in something like this, so I am very excited.

I am most excited to hear Luci Swindoll speak. If she is anything like her brother, I know I am in for something special. I also really like Natalie Grant and look forward to hearing her.

It's very late at night and I just went back to the website to look around a bit and now I'm too excited to sleep!

p.s. What's the deal with most of these speakers coming from the South? I want to go to there.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Heaven is for Real

I received a complimentary copy of Heaven if for Real for Kids by Colton Burpo through the Thomas Nelson Publishing Booksneeze blogger program in exchange for a review. I was not required to provide a positive review, and all thoughts and opinions are my own. 

Heaven is for Real for Kids is a sweet book about one boy's journey to Heaven while sick in the hospital. It is interwoven with passages of scripture and beautifully illustrated. The images are imaginative and vibrant with color. I think that this book would entice children to desire to learn more about God and Heaven.

Three Cups

A five-year-old boy is given three cups from the family cupboard for his birthday. Little does he know that this is the beginning of a wonderful journey. Walk with Tony Townsley as he learns how to divide his allowance between three cups; saving, spending, and giving. 

This book would be a wonderful introduction to money management for a young child. It works very well with Dave Ramsey's system of financial management, which also guides people to dividing their assets in the same three ways. 

I thoroughly enjoyed his book and look forward to introducing it to my children when they are a little older. I am certain that they will also enjoy it and learn a lot about money management.

I received a complementary copy of Three Cups through the Thomas Nelson Publishing Booksneeze program in exchange for a review. All opinions are my own.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

His Steadfast Love


I recently downloaded a complementary copy of the eBook His Steadfast Love by Golden Keyes Parsons through the Booksneeze blogger program at Thomas Nelson Publishing in exchange for a review. I was not required to provide a positive review, and all opinions are my own. 

If you enjoy Historical Christian Fiction, you will probably like this book. It is set in the civil war era and is centered around Amanda Belle, a southern woman who is torn between her love of a Union soldier, her brother, who is a Confederate soldier, and the life she has always known on a farm full of slaves. 

The beginning of the book felt a bit rushed to me, with long periods of time elapsing between paragraphs within a chapter. A whole year went by in the first 45 pages! Despite that, I found myself enjoying the characters and empathizing with their situation. Overall, I think it was a well written book, and I would probably read more by Golden Keyes Parsons if given the chance. 

Thursday, October 6, 2011

In Case You Ever Wonder

In Case You Ever Wonder is a delightful Christian children's book by Max Lucado. With beautifully drawn illustrations and sweet words, Lucado reminds children that they are created by God and loved by God and their parents. The book tells children about how carefully crafted they are by the same hands that created all the earth, and how special they are to God. Children are also reminded that whenever anything happens that they do not like, they can turn to God and their parents. My three-and-a-half-year-old loved this book, and asked me to read it twice the day we downloaded it. She told me that she really likes this book, and everything we get to the part about God deciding to make her she happily exclaims "ME?!" 

I received a complimentary copy of this eBook through Booksneeze's blogger program in exchange for a review. I was not required to provide a positive review and all opinions expressed are my own.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

The Wonder of Your Love

Katie Ann is a forty-something Amish woman with a newborn son whose husband left her for another woman. After his dead in the Englisch world she is heartbroken and looking for answers. Her neighbor's cousin, Eli visits for a wedding after finally marrying off the last of his six children. He plans on traveling and spending time finally relaxing on his own. Once in town, it seems everyone is trying to play matchmaker with the two reluctant people.
I really enjoyed The Wonder of Your Love by Beth Wiseman. Wiseman has written many Christian Fiction books in the Amish genre and often has the same characters within her books. Her plots are often similar, but still fun to read. I tend to expect that the two main characters will end up together, but the journey getting there is the fun in these books. The Wonder of Your Love was no different. I knew parts of the end, but not all of it, and certainly not how they would get there. 
I received a complementary copy of The Wonder of Your Love through the Booksneeze blogger program in exchange for a review. I was not required to provide a positive review and all opinions expressed are my own.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Thank You, God, for Blessing Me

Thank You, God, for Blessing Me by Max Lucado is a short and sweet Hermie book. The illustrations are typical of the Hermie series and I enjoyed the rhythm of the poetic story. Hermie is in his garden, praying his thanks to God for all that he has. It would be a perfect book to introduce young children to how to talk with God, and how to recognize the wonderful things in our lives that God has blessed us with. Despite the fact that the e version of this book is only four pages long, it is a very good read that will be beneficial to my children.

I received a complimentary download of this book through Thomas Nelson's Booksneeze blogger program in exchange for a review. I was not required to provide a positive review, and all of the opinions are my own.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Night Night Blessings

Night Night Blessings by Amy Parker is a sweet bedtime book that reminds children of the many blessings in their life. The rhythm of the book is nice and makes it fun to read. The illustrations are beautifully drawn and enhance the overall feel of the book. I sincerely enjoyed reading "Night Night Blessings" and am looking forward to reading it to my daughter before bed tomorrow night.

I received a complimentary copy of Night Night Blessings through the Booksneeze blogger program in exchange for an honest review. All opinions expressed are my own.

Hermie A Common Caterpillar

I downloaded a complementary copy of Hermie A Common Caterpillar through the Booksneeze blogger program. My three-year-old and almost two-year-old love reading books on my Nook Color, and I'm always on the lookout for new ones~especially books with Bibically sound storylines. I was a little disappointed that the book didn't seem to be formatted especially for an e-reader. Instead of having the illustrations large and within the story it has some of the story, then a small picture followed by more of the story. I was reading it to my three-year-old, and she very quickly lost interest, and I think that is one of the reasons. If the illustrations were larger she would have been more interested in the pictures and therefore the story as well. I personally think the story is wonderful for children. Hermie and his friend, Wormie feel common compared to the other creatures they meet, but God consistantly tells them they are wonderful as they are and He is not done with them yet. Overall, it is a great book, with a theme that every child should hear often~you are wonderful just as you are, and God is not finished with you.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Gabby, God's Little Angel


Last night before bed, I read Gabby, God's Little Angel by Sheila Walsh to my three-year-old daughter. About three or four pages into the book my daughter looked at me and declared "This is a long book you picked, Momma." Indeed, it is a bit long for a three-year-old, but she listened intently through to the end. The illustrations are beautiful, and the story is cute despite being a bit long for my preschooler. Gabby is a bit clumsy, but God still chooses her to be Sophie's guardian angel. Sophie is a bit of a daredevil herself, and provides Gabby with a challenge. The book focuses on God loving all of us and providing an angel to watch over us. All in all, it is a very sweet book and I'm sure my children and I will read it over and over.

Disclaimer: I received this book for free through the Thomas Nelson Publishing Booksneeze program in exchange for a review. I am not required to provide a positive review and all opinions are my own.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

It Couldn't Just Happen

It Couldn't Just Happen; Knowing the Truth About God's Awesome Creation is a book designed to answer childrens' questions about the world from a Creationist point of view. While I love the concept of this book, I also found it to be a bit dry and wonder how it would keep the attention of a child. The facts and style of writing would definitely be geared for an older child; perhaps 5-7th grade. I was hoping that it would answer questions from younger children in a simple manner, but younger children would be bored by all the scientific talk in the book. However, for older children, it tackles the subjects of our universe, how life began, evolution vs. Evolution, and more. The truths in this book are valid and to the point. It would be useful to doubting tweens, teens, and adults.

I received a complimentary copy of the eBook "It Couldn't Just Happen; Knowing the Truth About God's Awesome Creation" by Lawrence O. Richards through Thomas Nelson Publishing's Booksneeze blogging program in exchange for an honest review. I am not required to write a positive review, all opinions expressed are my own.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Cherished

I received a complimentary copy of the eBook, Cherished by Kim Cash Tate through the Thomas Nelson Publishing Booksneeze program. I am not required to provide a positive review, and all opinions are my own.

Brian and Kelli have a sorted past that ended with broken hearts and broken dreams. When Kelli's family convinces her to move home, she is forced to deal with the issues that she had been avoiding for seven years.

Personally, I loved Cherished. It is a book that is fully ground in Christianity but is not a typical Christian Fiction book. So many times, I feel a bit preached to when reading Christian Fiction. This story is about flawed, real characters dealing with issues that vary from abortion to adultery, to tarnished reputations and trying to find God's voice in all their situations. In addition to a great, easy to read plot, the book reminds readers about the importance of listening for God in all situations. Praying whole heartily, and trusting that there is always a bigger plan in motion. I thoroughly enjoyed this book and look forward to more from Kim Cash Tate.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Smack Dab in the Middle of God's Love

Smack Dab in the Middle of God's Love is a delightful children's book by Brennan Manning and John Blase. Based in Hupi, Mexico the book introduces us to a couple that is full of love for all the children of their neighborhood. Ana makes sopapillas with the children and they put honey "smack dab" in the middle to make them even better. Once full of their sweet delicacy, the children and Willie Juan begin to talk about God's love. The story is sweet, at the level of about a 6-7 year old and the illustrations are beautiful. I loved this book, and I am certain I will hear my daughter use the phrase "smack dab" often after reading this book with her.

I received this book for free through Thomas Nelson Publishing's Booksneeze blogger program. I am not required to provide a positive review, and the thoughts expressed are my own.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Treasuring Emma

I received a copy of Treasuring Emma by Kathleen Fuller from the BookSneeze blogger program. I was very excited to get a Christian Fiction book, and this was the second Amish book I've read. I really enjoyed this book. The characters are lovable, but also flawed and real. The author has an easy to read style that helped get me quickly engrossed in the book, and the plot was enjoyable. As a matter of fact, I finished the book in just a few days, despite the fact that I have three kids three and under~including a newborn! Fuller included enough twists in her plot that although I knew how it would most likely end, I never would have guessed how they got there. It was certainly a book that left me wanting more, which makes me glad that Fuller has a series based on the characters in this Amish community.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Craving Grace


I received a complementary copy of Lisa Velthouse's Craving Grace through the Tyndale Blog Network. Craving Grace is Velthouse's personal memoirs of her life as a Christian, trying to do what she thought was the right thing to please God. She wrote a book called "Saving My First Kiss," and spoke about saving herself for her future husband. She tried many other techniques to make herself feel like she was a perfect Christian, such as fasting, but always failed in the end. Eventually, we follow her journey to love.

While I enjoyed the story of Craving Grace, I found it a little bit hard to follow. Velthouse jumps around in time, and I would personally have liked it better if it was chronological. She has a charming amount of humor about her life and what she has been through to get where she is that I found refreshing. All in all, it was a good book.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Nurture Shock

I am currently in Grad School, and we used "Nurture Shock" by Po Bronson and Ashley Merryman as our opening discussion topic. The chapters that we covered were very interesting, and I enjoyed them very much. Each topic is grounded in research and intelligently presented. The topics are all on childrearing, and are focused in a manner that could be used for teachers or parents with no problem. Topics include how to properly praise a child, the effect of lack of sleep on learning,
teaching children about race, lying, siblings, teen rebellion, self-control, and more. The chapters are a short, quick read that will leave you thinking hard about how you interact with the children in your life.

We Be Big

I received a complementary copy of "We Be Big The Mostly True Story of How Two Kids From Calhoun County, Alabama, Became Rick & Bubba" by Rick Burgess and Bill "Bubba" Bussey through the Booksneeze blogger program. Rick and Bubba are on air radio personalities that are big on redneck humor and faith in God and what He has in store for them. The book follows them from their childhoods all the way to the success they are currently enjoying. Their show is based in the South, so I have never listened to it, living in the Midwest. This made it a bit hard to get into the book and I think that if I was more familiar with the people in the book I would have been much more interested in finding out about their lives. All in all, it was a decent book, but I don't think I would recommend it to a friend.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Grey Matter

I received Grey Matter by Dr. David Levy from the Tyndale Blog Network. When I saw this book was available to request, my first reaction was that it was not for me. I'm not into medical dramas and really don't like the thought of blood and guts. However, after reading the information about the book, I decided to give it a shot. Dr. Levy is a neurosurgeon who made the brave decision to pray with his patients. He describes how hard this decision was to come to, and how much harder it was to put into practice. I could feel his impatience and anxiety as he waited for the nurse to leave the first time he decided to pray with a patient. Throughout his experiences, his faith has been strengthened, and he has found a whole new way to love being a surgeon. He chronicles patients, their reactions, and any followup he may have had with them or their families. I found myself drawn into the book, and the chapters flew by-which was completely unexpected.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Francine Rivers

Holy cow! You can win a Francine Rivers library here!

Tyndale eNewsletter for Book Clubs

Have you heard the great news? Tyndale Publishing has launched a new eNewsletter! It is geared towards people that are in or lead a book club and will give suggestions, discussion guides, and great ideas for book clubs. If you are interested, you can view a sample of their newsletter here.
In honor of their new newsletter, they are hosting a giveaway! All you have to do to enter the giveaway is go to their contest page and click on the book you'd like to win. Fill in the form and check back daily-you can enter to win both books daily, and the books will change every couple of days.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Read and Share Bible

When I saw that Booksneeze was requesting people to review a new children's DVD Read and Share Bible, I jumped on the chance. I reviewed volume one a while back, and my daughter has grown to love that DVD since then. It is certainly one of her favorites (and what Christian parent doesn't love hearing their child exclaim "I want to watch Jesus!"?). Volume Two has definitely exceeded my expectations. It is not just a two DVDs, but also a book. Each of the DVDs has 13 beautifully animated stories from the Bible. They are short-the whole DVD ran about 30 minutes, and at the perfect level for young children (my oldest is almost three, and loves them. However, she does wander a bit!). The book is just as perfectly matched for young children. It breaks down Bible stories into small segments-which will be perfect for bedtime. Each segment is printed on one full page spread with a wonderfully drawn illustration. I feel very lucky to have found this book/DVD set, and am even thinking about letting our church know about it as they give a toddler Bible to every child dedicated.My daughter, digging into the Word, minutes after opening the package from Booksneeze.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Grey Matter

I'm not one of those people that is really into medical dramas. I didn't watch ER. I watched Grey's Anatomy for a season or two-until it got more into sex than being a medical drama. Needless to say, I didn't think I'd be interested in Grey Matter when I saw the surgeon on the cover of the book. After reading the discription on Tyndale's webiste, I found myself wanting to read the book. It sounds intriguing, and like it will draw me in and make me really care about the people I will meet along the way. Here's what Tyndale says about the book:

"A perfect blend of medical drama and spiritual insight, Grey Matter is a facinating account of Dr. David Levy's decision to begin asking his patients if he could pray for them before surgery. Some are thrilled. Some are skeptical. Some are hostile, and some are quite literally transformed by the request.

Each chapter focuses on a specific case, opening with a detailed description of the patient's diagnosis and the procedure that will need to be performed, followed by the prayer "request." From there, readers get to look over Dr. Levy's shoulder as he performs the operation, and then wait-right along Dr. Levy, the patients, and their families-to see the final results.

Dr. Levy's musings on what successful and unsuccessful surgical results imply about God, faith, and the power of prayer are honest and insightful. As we watch him come to his ultimate conclusion that no matter what the results of the procedure are, "God is good," we cannot help but be truly moved and inspired."

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Same Kind of Different as Me

I received a free copy of "Same Kind of Different as Me" by Ron Hall and Denver Moore through Thomas Nelson Publishers Booksneeze.com book review blogger program. I must admit that it took me a long time to get into this book. The writing is gritty and true to the story, which is a good thing, as it adds to the authenticity of the story. However, I am one who needs to get used to a different form of writing before being able to focus on the story being told. This true story tells of a homeless man who meets an art dealer who changes his life forever and is written by the men who lived it. The men took turns telling the story within the book, which I found slightly hard to follow. There were many times that I became frustrated and had to take a break from the book altogether. To learn more about the story, the people involved, or the artwork involved you can check out their website at: http://www.samekindofdifferntasme.com/.

Great Parents, Lousy Lovers

I received a complementary copy of "Great Parents, Lousy Lovers," by Dr. Gary Smalley and Ted Cunningham through the Tyndale Media Center's blog network, and it could not have come at a better time! As the mother of an almost three-year-old, fifteen-month-old, and one on the way I could feel my relationship with my husband becoming strained under the weight of parenthood and trying to maintain our household. This book links humor, real life antidotes, and a little bit of advice in a thought provoking manner that is sure to get you and your spouse talking, while pushing Christ to the center of your relationship. This is certainly a book that is easier to read than most parenting books, and goes by quickly. It is designed to help couples find a way to refocus on their relationship instead of their children to help their children (and themselves!) in the long run.