Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Esther - Drawn in Bible Story

If I had to pick a favorite Bible story, the story of Esther would be at the top of my list.  I've always loved reading about her courage and her faith in God.

So naturally, I was excited to see there is a Drawn in Bible Study series and one of the women featured is Esther.  Other books in the series include Ruth and Mary.

This is a unique Bible study that features a Bible study combined with coloring pages and questions.

In this busy paced life you can take time to reflect on God's word with this book and enjoy some relaxing time of coloring while you are at it.  Included are notes for the author that enrich the Bible Study as well.

If I were to change anything about this book I would make it larger and add a few more coloring pages.  I would also like to see it in a different Bible translation.  I have never been a fan of The Message Bible and would rather see it in a different version. However, this did not take away too greatly for me.  It's easy enough to read out of your favorite version and use the book for the study questions, thoughts and coloring.

***Thanks to Tyndale for providing me a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.

Indescribable Coloring Book

I am so excited to tell you about my new coloring book!  I think everyone has heard the song "Indescribable" by Chris Tomlin.  Now there is a coloring book based on the song!

It is without question, my new favorite coloring book. The lyrics to this #1 worship song is paired with awe-inspiring pictures in this beautiful coloring book.

There are more than 90 coloring pages and they have perforated edges if you want to tear the pictures out for easier coloring.  I myself like to keep the pages in the book, but it is just my personal preference.

I love the pictures.  They display real pictures that are the perfect size.  The pages are thick enough for markers without worrying about bleeding through.

This beautiful coloring book would make the perfect gift for anyone on your list.  Better yet, buy it for yourself and enjoy some relaxing and peaceful moments while enjoying the beauty of this one of a kind coloring book.

***Thanks to booklookbloggers.com for providing me a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.

Friday, May 12, 2017

Guide to the Empty Nest - A Book Review

What's a mother to do when her children are no longer children, but adults?  In recent months I have found myself asking "What's next for me?" or "What am I going to do now?"  My oldest son got married and moved more than 10 hours away.  My youngest daughter just finished her senior year which also ends our homeschool journey as a family.

For the past 23 years my life has revolved around my children and I wouldn't of had it any other way, but now that they are grown it is time for me to refocus and see where it is God wants me.  Just because my kids don't need me 24/7 anymore does not mean my life is over.  In a way it is just beginning.  I have plenty to look forward to and plenty of free time now to do other works for the Lord.

I wanted to read Guide to the Empty Nest because of where I am in life.  I though it would offer some encouragement and maybe a little direction.  I really didn't care for the book.  For me personally it made me feel like the authors think you have to go out and do something huge during this stage in your life.  I did not relate to their stories and personally felt a little let down after reading it.

I think greatness depends on you.  Maybe all you can do is visit a sick friend or sew a blanket for a new born, but to the person you are helping...that's a great thing.

Find your purpose and don't let others tell you what that is or make you feel inadequate!  You can do great things for God no matter how small you think they might be.


***Thanks to Bethany House Publishing for providing me a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.

Warfare Praying - A Book Review

Warfare Praying:  Biblical Strategies for Overcoming the Adversary by Mark I. Bubeck is a follow-up to the bestselling book The Adversary.  Author Mark Bubeck uses his pastoral heart, biblical wisdom and personal stories to write this compelling guide to walking in spiritual triumph.  He shares his time-tested tactics for victory with a sincere desire for you spiritual welfare.

* Live out your union with Christ
* Be filled with the Holy Spirit
* Wear the whole armor of God
* Pray mightily amid spiritual warfare
* Help others stand strong in the faith

Prayer is such a vital part of the Christians life, but all too often we fall into a habit of "good night prayers" or "table graces".  If ever there was a time to step up your prayer life, it is now.

This book is such a great resource and encouragement.  It is rooted and grounded in The Word of God and is not base on one man's opinion.  In our life we are faced with spiritual warfare daily so it is vital that we know how to pray a warfare prayer.  It is time to put on the whole armor of God and this book will guide you in a way that will enrich your prayer life like never before.

This book will be going on my shelf of favorites and will be something I know I will be referencing and loaning out in the years to come.

No matter what your battle you can fight it on your knees!  God is there to help you through.

***Thanks to Moody Publishing for providing me a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.

Threads of Suspicion - A Book Review

I used to only read christian romance and historical fiction books, but anymore my favorite "go to" genre is suspense.  Its books like Threads of Suspicion by Dee Henderson that has made me love the mystery and suspense.  I don't like anything too dark or gory.  I always think it sounds funny to say "christian suspense" but this book is the perfect example of what I like.

From the moment you open the book you won't want to put it down.  The characters are well developed and the story is fast paced with plenty of things to keep you guessing.  I was not aware that this author intertwines characters from previous novels so this has intrigued me to pick up some of her prior books to see what the back story is of a few of the characters.

If you are looking for a great summer read this is a good book to start with!

BACK OF THE BOOK:

Evie Blackwell's reputation as a top investigator for the Illinois State Police has landed her an appointment to the governor's new Missing Persons Task Force. This elite investigative team is launched with plenty of public fanfare. The governor has made this initiative a high priority, so they will have to produce results--and quickly.

Evie and her new partner, David Marshal, are assigned to a pair of unrelated cases in suburban Chicago, and while both involve persons now missing for several years, the cases couldn't be more different. While Evie opens old wounds in a close-knit neighborhood to find a missing college student, David searches for a private investigator working for a high-powered client.

With a deep conviction that "justice for all" truly matters, Evie and David are unrelenting in their search for the truth. But Evie must also find answers to the questions that lie just beneath the surface in her personal life.

***Thanks to Bethany House Publishing for providing me a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.


A Stranger at Fellsworth - A Book Review

First of all, let me just mention the beauty of the cover of this book!  If that does not instantly draw your attention I don't think anything will!  Absolutely gorgeous!

Sarah Ladd has written some of my favorite books and how I missed the first two of this series is beyond me.  I will have to go back and start fresh with book one.  With that being said, even though this is the third book in the series, it is also a great stand alone book.  It's not one of those series that you have to read everything in order.

This is a historical romance and it has plenty of mystery and romance.  It is a quick read and fast paced.  No saggy middle!  Sometimes I struggle with the Regency era, but this author tends to make it modern enough for me to enjoy while still having enough history to make it believable!

I would definitely recommend this book!  It would be a great summer read to relax by the pool with!

BACK OF THE BOOK:

In the fallout of her deceased father’s financial ruin, Annabelle’s prospects are looking bleak. Her fiancĂ© has called off their betrothal, and now she remains at the mercy of her controlling and often cruel brother. Annabelle soon faces the fact that her only hope for a better life is to do the unthinkable and run away to Fellsworth, where her estranged uncle serves as the school’s superintendent. Upon arrival, Annabelle learns that she must shed her life of high society and work for her wages for the first time in her life.
Owen Locke is unswerving in his commitments. As a widower and father, he is fiercely protective of his only daughter. As an industrious gamekeeper, he is intent on keeping poachers at bay even though his ambition has always been to purchase land he can call his own. When a chance encounter introduces him to Annabelle Thorley, his steady life is shaken. For the first time since his wife’s death, Owen begins to consider a second chance at love.
As Owen and Annabelle grow closer, ominous forces threaten the peace they thought they’d found. Poachers, mysterious strangers, and murderers converge at Fellsworth, forcing Annabelle and Owen to a test of fortitude and bravery to stop the shadow of the past from ruining their hopes for the future.


***Thanks to booklookbloggers.com for providing me a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.

Monday, May 1, 2017

The Ten Greatest Struggles of Your Life - A Book Review

I just finished memorizing Exodus 20 which includes all of the Ten Commandments.  It was my first big Bible memorization project.  I've memorized verses, but never a whole passage.  With that fresh on my mind and in my heart the book The Ten Greatest Struggles of Your Life came at the perfect time.  It is a devotional/christian help book based on finding freedom in God's commands.

The author, Pastor Colin S. Smith shares in this book that there is more to the ten commandments that meets the eye.  This book gave me a deeper understanding of God and His commandments.  I'd like to share a short excerpt from the introduction:

How can we know what God's love is like?  The answer is found in the Ten Commandments.  They show us what God is like, and they spell out the meaning of love...

God is love, and He calls us to pursue a life that reflects His character.  That's why He gave us the Ten Commandments.  They show us what God is like and spell out the meaning of love.  The reason we should not commit adultery is that God is faithful.  The reason for not bearing false witness is that God speaks truth.  The reason for not coveting is that God is content in Himself.  This is what God is like and since you were created in His image, this is the life for which you were made.

There are 10 chapters discussing each of the commandments separately and at the back of the book there is a very thorough study guide for even further personal study.  I found this book very encouraging and thought provoking.  It helped me to see a part of the Bible that I have know since I was a young child in Sunday School in a whole new light.  It became much more than mere words to me and helped me to know the God I love so much even better.

***Thank you to Moody Publishing for providing me a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.

The Chapel Car Bride - A Book Review

The Chapel Car Bride is a sweet, romantic story set in West Virginia during the early 1900's.  

Hope Irvine has lived a sheltered life in Pittsburgh and is ready for a new adventure.  When her father takes a position as a preacher in a railroad car converted into a traveling church, she's thrilled at the chance to accompany him.  While accommodations in their new chapel car home are tight, Hope couldn't be happier putting her musical skills to good use and ministering to the people of West Virginia alongside her father.  But when their chapel car arrives in Finch, West Virginia, they find a coal mining community that has hit hard times and is suspicious of outsiders.

Luke Hughes works for the coal mine when he can, but the struggling company doesn't always offer steady work.  When Reverend Irvine and Hope arrive in town, Luke is intrigued by what the reverend can teach him...and by the lovely and kind Hope.

When Hope's desire to bring supplies and Sunday school classes to neighboring counties leads to her traveling with a flirtation young mine manager, Luke is hard-pressed to suppress his jealous.  But when he begins to suspect the manager's motives are less than charitable, can he prove it without hurting Hope, or worse, putting her in danger?

I love reading historical fiction and Judith Miller did an excellent job of combining historical content with fictional content and the results was pure reading delight. Before reading this book I had never heard of "chapel cars" and was intrigued by them.  The character of Hope is such a delight. She is very upbeat and sees the best in everyone and every situation. This book is full of good christian morals and was a joy to read. I also was glad that this was a stand alone novel.  I've read a lot of books lately that have been a part of a series and I was ready for a shorter read without being left hanging.  

***Thanks to Bethany House Publishing for providing me a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.

In the Field of Grace - Book Review

In the Field of Grace by Tessa Afshar is a beautifully written historical fiction book based on the story of Ruth out of the Bible.  This is the first book I have read by Author Tessa Afshar and she has made me an instant fan!

I have read several books in the past from various authors based on biblical stories and more often than not I am left disappointed.  A lot of times the truth of the story gets twisted, but that is not the case with In the Field of Grace.  The author takes the Bible story of Ruth and weaves a fictional story based on the truth that the Bible shares.  It takes the reader to a deeper understanding of that day and time and for me it helped me to connect and see the Bible characters of Ruth, Naomi and Boaz as real people, not just a story.  It brought the story to life!  I will say that for me, after reading a fictional story based on a Bible story I always like to go back and read the Bible account afterwards.

I think most Christians are familiar with the story of Ruth so it is pretty clear how the story will unfold, but what you don't know is how the story will take hold of your heart.  You will experience the grief that Naomi felt when she lost her sons, you will experience the determination of Ruth to help Naomi and you will read about a love that is sweet and pure and sent from God above.

I highly recommend this book and believe that within it's pages you will be reminded of God's great faith, love and provision.

If you would like to learn more about the author Tessa Afshar and other books she has available you can do so HERE.

You can purchase the book by clicking HERE.

***This book was provided to me by the publisher in exchange for my honest review.


Wednesday, April 26, 2017

For Love and Honor - Book Review

Lady Sabine is harboring a skin blemish, one, that if revealed, could cause her to be branded as a witch, put her life in danger, and damage her chances of making a good marriage. After all, what nobleman would want to marry a woman so flawed?
Sir Bennet is returning home to protect his family from an imminent attack by neighboring lords who seek repayment of debts. Without fortune or means to pay those debts, Sir Bennet realizes his only option is to make a marriage match with a wealthy noblewoman. As a man of honor, he loathes the idea of courting a woman for her money, but with time running out for his family’s safety, what other choice does he have?
As Lady Sabine and Sir Bennet are thrust together under dangerous circumstances, will they both be able to learn to trust each other enough to share their deepest secrets? Or will those secrets ultimately lead to their demise?
If you have read any of my past reviews you know that I am a huge Jody Hedlund fan. I hate to say it, but this young adult series has been a struggle for me. I have never really felt connected with the characters. This book in the series definitely left me wanting something more. It seemed more of a chore to read than a delight. 
I'm hoping that the next series will be something more enjoyable. I still consider Jody Hedlund one of my favorite authors. This book was just not for me.

***Thanks to booklookbloggers for providing me with a copy of this ebook in exchange for my honest review.