Monday, April 27, 2015

A heart's obsession by Colleen Coble

A Heart's Obsession 2
Will Sarah’s journey west lead her back into the arms of the one man she can trust?
When her father succumbs to a long illness, Sarah Montgomery is freed from duty to family. At last she can be with the love of her life, Rand Campbell, who has gone out west to Fort Laramie, Wyoming. Sarah and her younger brother Joel make the arduous journey filled with hope.
But at Fort Laramie, the reception Sarah meets isn’t what she had hoped for. Her friend Amelia is thrilled to have her, but Rand seems to be in the clutches of Jessica DuBois, the scheming daughter of the post commander.
Sarah resolves to remain at Fort Laramie and try to win Rand back. But things will get tougher before they get easier . . . especially when her ex-fiancé Ben Croftner arrives in Wyoming, obsessed with having her back in his arms.
My opinion: This is the 2nd book in the series by Colleen Coble, it picks up right where the first one left off and we get to further dive into poor Sarah's predicament, with an evil ex-fiance and her true love in the clutches of a scheming women, could things get worse? This is a quick and easy read, I got through it very quickly and overall enjoyed it, although at times it was a bit melodramatic. I received a copy of this book in exchange for my honest opinion.

God,Me and Sweet Iced Tea by Rose Chandler Johnson

God, Me, and Sweet Iced Tea

God, Me, and Sweet Iced Tea (Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas, July 2013)
In the South, nothing is more refreshing than a glass of sweet iced tea. Nothing, that is, except experiencing God in those small, everyday moments.
God, Me, and Sweet Iced Teais a deeply personal collection of spiritual treasures designed to help readers experience new mercies each morning. Seasoned with insight and grace, this tender devotional points to the divine presence of God in everyday moments. God, Me, and Sweet Iced Tea will help readers develop a daily habit of turning to God in those quiet moments of reflection.
My opinion: What a sweet, refreshing read,this book is a good, light read for the soul and is a good way to start out ones day.  I know it helped me keep my focus on God on the days I read it, with a great approach that helped center ones day on things that really matter. I thoroughly enjoyed this book and feel it would make a great start to anyone's day. I received a copy of this book in exchange for my honest opinion.

A Sparrow in Terezin by Kristy Cambron

Sparrow in Terezin PK

Bound together across time, two women will discover a powerful connection through one survivor’s story of hope in the darkest days of a war-torn world.
Present Day—With the grand opening of her new art gallery and a fairytale wedding just around the corner, Sera James feels she’s stumbled into a charmed life—until a brutal legal battle against fiancé William Hanover threatens to destroy the perfectly planned future she’s planned before it even begins. Now, after an eleventh-hour wedding ceremony and a callous arrest, William faces a decade in prison for a crime he never committed, and Sera must battle the scathing accusations that threaten her family and any hope for a future.
1942—Kája Makovsky narrowly escaped occupied Prague in 1939, and was forced to leave her half-Jewish family behind. Now a reporter for the Daily Telegraph in England, Kája discovers the terror has followed her across the Channel in the shadowy form of the London Blitz. When she learns Jews are being exterminated by the thousands on the continent, Kája has no choice but to return to her mother city, risking her life to smuggle her family to freedom and peace.
Connecting across a century through one little girl, a Holocaust survivor with a foot in each world, these two women will discover a kinship that springs even in the darkest of times. In this tale of hope and survival, Sera and Kája must cling to the faith that sustains and fight to protect all they hold dear—even if it means placing their own futures on the line.
My opinion: This is the 2nd book in the series, while the story set in 1942 is very different from the first book, the present day story would be best understood if you have read the first book in the series. In many ways I enjoyed this book more than the first one, it was a well written, interesting read. Very fast pace and easy to read, I know it took me no time at all to get through it!  I highly recommend this book to anyone who enjoys a good historical fiction.I received a copy of this book in exchange for my honest opinion.

Sunday, April 26, 2015

Maggie Bright by Tracy Groot

Tracy Groot is one of my favorite historical authors. You can always tell she thoroughly researches her books, she picks lesser known events in history and she does not try to sugar coat things, all the while not making it too gritty. This book was no exception. She covers World War 2 and yet does it in an exciting way that is no overdone. I did not know much about the Dunkirk evacuation and yet after reading this book I felt like I had learned a lot!
I loved the story line as well and liked the wide cast of characters and felt very invested in what happened to them.
I highly recommend this book. I received a copy of this book in exchange  for my honest opinion.

Franklin Barbecue

Can you say yum! This book was almost too much for this pregnant lady to handle and made me want to run out and buy a bunch of ingredients and try these out or even better yet, go to Austin and try their restaurant out.:) I was able to refrain from doing both things, but just barely. Really this is one of the best barbecue recipe books I have come across. With an up and coming name in the barbecue scene the Franklin's are making a name for themselves and I can see why.
This book has it all, gorgeous photography, delicious looking recipes with clear instructions and an amazing subject matter...meat!
I highly recommend this book for the carnivore in your life.
I received a copy of this book in exchange for my honest opinion.

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Against the Flow by John Lennox

Against the Flow

A wide-ranging discussion of the place of Christianity in the public square
Daniel’s story is one of extraordinary faith in God lived out at the pinnacle of executive power. It tells of four young men, born in the tiny state of Judah around 500 b.c., and captured by Nebuchadnezzar, emperor of Babylon. Daniel describes how they eventually rose to senior positions of administration.
Daniel and his friends did not simply maintain their private devotion to God; they maintained a high-profile witness in a pluralistic society antagonistic to their faith. Their story carries a powerful message for us today. Society tolerates the practice of Christianity in private and in church services, but increasingly it deprecates public witness. If Daniel and his compatriots were with us today they would be in the vanguard of public debate.
This is a lucid and erudite examination of the life of Daniel from a leading expert on faith and science. In his first biblical work, Dr. Lennox provides a unique perspective on both Western society and biblical exegesis that will make Against the Flow an instant classic encouraging Christians to speak out in our modern Babylon.
My opinion: I had never heard of John Lennox before but after reading this book by him I am eager to check out some of his other books. It is so refreshing and encouraging to find such a deep thinker who tackles hard subjects and has such a way with words. I thoroughly enjoyed this book and came away with a lot more understanding and insight, it was amazing! It is not a light read for sure but it is well worth the time to read. I received this book in exchange for my honest opinion.

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Milk Bar Life by Christina Tosi

What a fun book! Filled with delicious recipes that are eclectic and different this book seems to have it all! Some of the recipes sound really weird, but I am totally willing to try them! With easy to follow directions and gorgeous photography, what is there not to like about this book? This book would make a great gift or is the perfect cookbook to add to ones collection. it truly is a one of a kind cookbook!
I received a copy of this book in exchange for my honest opinion.

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Enough Already by Barbara Roose

Enough Already

Recognize your own outer and inner beauty as defined by God, not the media or others.
Most women know that God loves them, but might he love them more if they finally lost that last ten pounds, or got their hair to lay right, or finally found a pair of jeans that looked good and let them breathe? Well, maybe God doesn’t care about jeans, but women do, and all the talk about inner beauty hasn’t kept all of us from staring into a mirror and taking an inventory that never quite measures up. Enough Already will:
—Elevate the soul-freeing, spiritual truth that God is the Creator of beauty and that women are called to appreciate and care for themselves as his own.
—Enable women to accept God-given beauty so that when they look in the mirror they see his handiwork, not their flaws.
—Equip women to win the ugly struggle with beauty once and for all.
My thoughts:  This was a wonderful book addressing something that most women really struggle with and the author is right it really is an ugly struggle. In  a culture that is obsessed with beauty, this book really addressed they key issues.  I think this book is a must read for all women and I highly recommend it. I received a copy of this book in exchange for my honest opinion.

Thursday, April 2, 2015

Halo Found Hope by Helo Matzelle

Halo Found Hope
Halo Found Hope(December 2014)
Machines beeping, the blur of medical staff running, a crash cart whizzing into an ICU room—was there any hope?
A young woman lay, packed in ice, as doctors attempted to somehow stop the swelling in her brain that threatened to take her life… and her family waited.
Six days turned into eight weeks. She awoke to discover that she was not the same. She saw two of everything, couldn’t feel half of her face, couldn’t hear from one ear, and could not speak. She couldn’t even tell anyone that she felt hopeless… or could she?
Halo Found Hope is the story of a beautiful, busy wife, and mother of three whose life changes instantly with the diagnosis of a rare brain tumor. An exceptional ENT, a brilliant neurosurgeon and a dedicated medical team tackle the tumor, setting off a series of unbelievable miracles. Helo’s story is not one of survival, or of salvaging a life through a broken body. It is not about endurance through pain, but victory because of it. While the family heard her silence, God heard her prayer. Helo’s story is simply this: Wherever you are and whatever you are going through, God is right there. He doesn’t need to be recognized by you, to be there for you. He can replace fear with courage and discouragement with determination, if you let Him. Helo did, and that is how she found hope.
My thoughts: What a remarkable story shared by a courageous women. Talk about ones life changing in an instant! That is exactly what happened to Helo whose life drastically changed in a blink of an eye. Her courage in the face of bleak circumstances was inspiring and I walked away from reading this book feeling inspired and in awe of what a wonderful God we serve and how people like Helo are such an inspiration. I received a copy of this book in exchange for my honest opinion.

My new roots by Sarah Britton

What a neat and totally unique recipe book! I had never heard of Sarah Britton before reviewing this book, but she has some utterly delicious recipes that I cannot wait to try. With a focus on Plant Based recipes for every season, this book is chalked full of delicious recipes that you can feel totally good about eating! With exceptional photography and easy to understand instructions this book would make a great addition to ones cookbook collection.
I received a copy of the book in exchange for my honest opinion.

How many times do I have to tell you? by Rachel Carman

Rachael Carman’s book, How Many Times Do I Have to Tell You?, will challenge your parenting and spiritual life. Many of the same things you’re telling your kids are what the Heavenly Father is saying to you! You’ll learn to recognize and appreciate God’s instructions for your life, even as you seek to follow His example as a parent.
How Many Times


How Many Times Do I Have to Tell You? (Apologia Educational Ministries, March 2015)
You’ve probably said these things to your kids, but have you listened to what you’re saying?
“I remember the day you were born.”
“Turn down the music!”
“This is going to hurt me more than it’s going to hurt you.”
“Hold my hand.”
Your heavenly Father wants to tell you many of these same things. Rachael Carman knows how noisy it can be when you’re raising children—she has seven! But this lovely devotional book will help you to hear God’s still, small voice amid the chaos of carpools, cut fingers, and carpet crawlers. You’ll learn how to recognize God’s instructions for you, even as you seek to follow His example as a parent
My thoughts: This book was a wonderful read and really hit home with me. It really got me thinking how frustrating kids can be and yet how even more so frustrating we are when it comes to our relationship. So often I doubt his love for me when he has sacrificed everything for me. This little devotional is a great way to start the day and keep you focused on what really matters. I received a copy of this book in exchange for my honest opinion. 

A Heart's Disguise by Colleen Coble

A Heart’s Disguise
A Heart’s Disguise (Thomas Nelson, March 2015)
In the aftermath of the Civil War, a young woman searches for her lost love at the edge of the West.
The Civil War has destroyed Sarah Montgomery’s marriage before it’s even begun.
After Sarah receives word that her fiancé, Rand Campbell, has been killed fighting for the Union, her brothers and ailing father persuade her to pledge herself to Ben Croftner—despite her strong misgivings. But when Sarah finds out that Rand is in fact alive—and that Ben Croftner knew it—she indignantly breaks off the engagement and goes in search of Rand.
But Ben Croftner does not take rejection lightly—and a single woman with a sick father makes an easy target. When Sarah is abducted by her treacherous fiancé, Rand finally comes to her aid . . . only to reveal that he has been posted at Fort Laramie, Wyoming, and intends to take her there as his wife.
But could Sarah leave her dying father’s side for the love of her life? And what plans are forming in the jealous heart of Ben Croftner?
My thoughts: This is the first short novel in a series of 3 by Colleen Coble. I really enjoyed this series and how it dealt with the aftermath of the Civil War and how it destroyed many people's lives.  It was also fun to read one of Ms. Coble earlier works and seeing how much she has developed as a writer. Filled with drama and intrigue this is an interesting, very easy read that I highly enjoyed.I received a copy of this book in exchange for my honest opinion.