Thursday, July 30, 2015

Exploring Christian theology Volume 2

What a great book! This is a book that I highly recommend for anyone who is interested in Christian Theology as it is chocked full of useful and easy to reference theology. It is very layman friendly and is not confusing or long and drawn out which I really appreciated.  I think this would be an excellent book for young people to have on hand as lots of these questions are things that Christians should know and think about. It is not just a book for young people or new believers though, as I think it would come in handy for anyone .
I received a copy of this book in exchange for my honest opinion.

A bride at last by Melissa Jagears

A Bride at Last
A Bride at Last (Bethany House, July 2015)
Abandoned by his mail-order bride, Silas Jonesey has fought an uphill battle to recover from a pattern of poor choices. Now his prayers for reconciliation have finally come true and his estranged wife has contacted him with her whereabouts.
Kate Dawson was supposed to be a mail-order bride, but upon realizing she’d been deceived about her intended groom, she’s now settled into life as a schoolteacher. When the mother of a student passes away, Kate assumes she’ll take on care of nine-year-old Anthony–until two men suddenly show up in town, claiming to be the boy’s father.
Silas can see Anthony loves Kate, so he enlists her help in reaching out to the boy and attempting to prove his paternity to the court. When a common interest in Anthony leads to an interest in each other and Silas and Kate begin to think they can overcome their rocky start, neither is prepared for the secrets and past hurts that have yet to come to light. Can Silas, Kate, and Anthony’s wounded souls bind them together or will all that stands between them leave them lonely forever?
My opinion: This was an interesting read, I really enjoyed the characters as liked watching them as they grew and developed throughout the book. I appreciated the flaws and growth of these characters and seeing how they change and become a lot more likable. This book had enough going on to make it interesting and I read it fairly quickly.  At times I wanted to smack Silas because of how he acted towards Kate, but it all worked out in the end. I received a copy of this book for my honest opinion.

Thriving in Babylon by Larry Osborne

Thriving in Babylon
Thriving in Babylon (David C. Cook, April 2015)
Meet a man forced to live in a fast changing and godless society. He faced fears about the future, concern for his safety, and the discouragement of world that seemed to be falling apart at warp speed.
Sound familiar? His name was Daniel, and with the power of hope, humility, and wisdom, he not only thrived, he changed an empire while he was at it. Though he lived thousands of years ago, he has a much to teach us today.
Even in Babylon, God is in control.
In Thriving in Babylon, Larry Osborne explores the “adult” story of Daniel to help us not only survive – but actually thrive in an increasingly godless culture. Here Pastor Osborne looks at:
—Why panic and despair are never from God
—What true optimism looks like
—How humility disarms even our greatest of enemies
—Why respect causes even those who will have nothing to do with God to listen
—How wisdom can snatch victory out of the jaws of defeat
For those who know Jesus and understand the full implications of the cross, the resurrection, and the promises of Jesus, everything changes—not only in us, but also in our world.
My opinion: This book was a very interesting read and was a great reminder for me that many of those people in times past have faces the struggles and challenges that we face in this day and age.  The story of Daniel has always been one of my favorites, he was someone who trusted in God and did not let the world around him sway who he was. This book is a great reminder that much like Daniel we live in a very wicked society and like Daniel we have the opportunity to change the world we live in. This was a well written, engaging read that really got me thinking. I received a copy of this book in exchange for my honest opinion.

A heart's promise by Colleen Coble

A Heart's Promise 5


A Heart’s Promise (Thomas Nelson, July 2015)
Emmie makes a promise to her friend that, if fulfilled, could mean the end to her dreams of a future with Isaac.
Emmie Croftner let Isaac Liddle go to avoid telling him about her past. But Isaac remains determined to win Emmie’s heart and hand. Though Emmie resolves to keep her heart in check, it hurts when she sees that another woman has set her bonnet for Isaac.
Then Emmie’s dear friend extracts a costly promise: if anything happens to her in childbirth, Emmie will marry her widower and raise the baby herself. And it seems Emmie may have to fulfill that promise. But can she live happily without Isaac?
My opinion: The saga continues, these books are like a soap opera, with so much drama and unrealistic life situations thrown in. I have liked some of Ms. Coble's newer series but this series is just really a bit too much. Good thing they are so short! The characters are okay, but I had a hard time relating to them. I could see one or two bad things happening to the,.I understand the pioneers had a hard life, but all of the drama gets really old. I received a copy of this book in exchange for my honest opinion.

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Drawing Fire by Janice Cantore

I am a huge fan of Janice Cantore's books, I mean she is probably my favorite Christian suspense and cop fiction writer and is it any surprise with her being a retired cop herself? I feel her books give a more gritty and realistic view of what being a cop is like.
I really liked the character of Abby and loved the story line that kept me on my toes and hooked until the end. This book really sucks you in with great characters, a intriguing plot and an unexpected ending. I consider this to be another fine work by Ms. Cantore and reminds me of why I enjoy her books so much. I also really like how the book is suspenseful without being totally creepy so I am still able to sleep at night.:)
I received a copy of this book in exchange for my honest opinion.

Through a man's eyes by Shaunti Feldhahn and Craig Gross

I was so very excited about the latest book from Shaunti Feldhahn as I have always appreciated her books and the fascinating differences she points out between men and women. I was equally delighted to see that she teamed up with Craig Gross who I had heard of because of the work he has done to bring people out of pornography through
This book certainly lived up to the expectations I had for it. I really appreciate how it talks about how men are very visual, what we can do to help them,why it is such a struggle for them and how women need to have grace towards them.
This book is very easy to read, well written and utterly intriguing, I think it is an excellent read for women to help us understand how visual men really are.
I received a copy of this book in exchange for my honest opinion.

Sunday, July 26, 2015

Tattered and mended by Cynthia Ruchti

Tattered and Mended PK

A crumbling statue. A torn tapestry. A discolored painting. 
Artisans can reclaim exquisite beauty from the broken, frayed, and hopelessly shattered—perhaps once thought beyond repair. But what about us? What of the wounds that keep us from living the life we want to live?
In Tattered and Mended, readers walk through a gallery of reclaimed and restored art as well as broken and restored lives of those who have gone before us. With a gentle touch and personable wisdom, Cynthia Ruchti shows how even the most threadbare soul can once again find healing and hope.
My opinion: This was an intriguing book that makes one realize that there is hope and restoration in the gospel. This book is filled with books that is very inspiring and stays with you long after you read it. I love books that use stories of people who have struggled and have overcome and this book is filled with plenty of great stories about that. I received a copy of this book in exchange for my honest opinion.

Monday, July 20, 2015

Shadows of Ladenbrooke manor by Melanie Dobson

Shadows of Ladenbrooke Manor
Shadows of Ladenbrooke Manor (Howard, June 2015)
When Heather Toulson returns to her parents’ cottage in the English countryside, she uncovers long-hidden secrets about her family history and stumbles onto the truth about a sixty-year-old murder.
Libby, a free spirit who can’t be tamed by her parents, finds solace with her neighbor Oliver, the son of Lord Croft of Ladenbrooke Manor. Libby finds herself pregnant and alone when her father kicks her out and Oliver mysteriously drowns in a nearby river. Though theories spread across the English countryside, no one is ever held responsible for Oliver’s death.
Sixty years later, Heather Toulson, returning to her family’s cottage in the shadows of Ladenbrooke Manor, is filled with mixed emotions. She’s mourning her father’s passing but can’t let go of the anger and resentment over their strained relationship. Adding to her confusion, Heather has an uneasy reunion with her first love, all while sorting through her family’s belongings left behind in the cottage. What she uncovers will change everything she thought she knew about her family’s history.
Award-winning author Melanie Dobson seamlessly weaves the past and present together, fluidly unraveling the decades-old mystery and reveals how the characters are connected in shocking ways.
Set in a charming world of thatched cottages, lush gardens, and lovely summer evenings, this romantic and historical mystery brings to light the secrets and heartaches that have divided a family for generations.
My opinion: As always I loved this book by Melanie Dobson. Her books are so interesting and I like how she goes back between the past and present weaving an interesting story in the process. I really found it interesting how the author talked about autism and how it was viewed over 40 years ago, I had never really thought about it but it was interesting trying to understand what people thought about it and how they treated people who had it. I wouldn't say this was my favorite book by Ms. Dobson but I still really enjoyed it and finished it up in no time.
I received a copy of this book in exchange for my honest opinion.

Beyond the Ashes by Karen Barnett

Beyond the Ashes

Where better to rebuild and face one’s fears than in 1906 San Francisco, a city rising from the ashes?
Ruby Marshall, a young widow, is certain she’ll discover new purpose assisting her brother Robert with his cancer research, but she doesn’t anticipate finding new love.
Dr. Gerald Larkspur dreams of filling his empty home with family, but he’d always hoped it would be a wife and children. In the aftermath of the great earthquake, the rooms are overflowing with extended family and friends left homeless by the disaster. When Robert’s widowed sister arrives, the close quarters seem close indeed.
Ruby and Gerald’s fledgling romance is put at risk when Gerald develops symptoms of the very disease they’re striving to cure. Together they must ask—is it worth a second chance at love when time might be short?
My opinion: This is a interesting read about the aftermath of the San Francisco earthquake. Filled with rich historical details this book was an engrossing read. I enjoyed reading about the medicine of the early 20th century. The characters were interesting and realistic. I found this to be a very interesting read and look forward to reading other books by this author.
I received a copy of this book in exchange for my honest opinion.  

Letters from my Father's Murderer by Laurie Coombs

Letters from My Father's Murderer PK

When her father was murdered, Laurie Coombs sought justice and found it.
His murderer now serves two life sentences with no possibility of parole. Yet, despite the swift punishment of the killer, Laurie found herself increasingly full of pain, bitterness, and anger she couldn’t control. After coming to faith, she realized she was being called to seek something infinitely more difficult than justice: forgiveness.
This is an extraordinary true story of grace, mercy, and the redemptive power of God to change lives. The reader is swept along with Laurie as she undergoes the life-changing transformation of becoming a Christian. As she studies Scripture, seeing God redeeming losses and healing deep wounds time and time again, she starts to understand that her own healing would require her to love her enemy in a real, practical way.
Using her incredible correspondence with the man who killed her father, Laurie reveals a compelling journey of transformation, not only in her life, but in the lives of those whom many would call irredeemable.
Letters from My Father’s Murderer is for any audience Christian or secular who
—Craves freedom from the inability to forgive those who’ve caused them harm
—Wants to hear testimony of God’s power in our obedience
—Has experienced pain through other’s sin against them
—Needs to know healing is always possible
The real story here is not primarily about murder and its fallout, but rather about redemption and how far it can reach.

My opinion: What a heart wrenching book. This is a story about something no one wants to ever experience, the loss of a loved one at the hand of a senseless murder. I am totally in awe of  Laurie and what she was able to overcome and learn from such a tragic event in her life. This book was a good read and I thoroughly enjoyed it.
I received a copy of this book in exchange for my honest opinion.

Friday, July 17, 2015

Straight up tasty by Adam Bigman

What a fun book! This book is very eclectic and has a little bit of everything. Written  by a man who has eaten his way across the country this book has some seriously delicious recipes in it. I am drooling over the Pulled pork egg rolls, why didn't I think of that? So many delicious recipes to try and so little time. Another recipe that looks amazing is Mama's Spinach pie, can you say yum? I will have fun making recipes out of this book for sure.The nice thing is it looks to have recipes for all skill levels and has a lot of ingredients one would have on hand.
I received a copy of this book in exchange for my honest opinion.

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Summer's List by Anita Higman

Summer’s List
Summer’s List (River North, June 2015)
A dying wish alters the course of a young woman’s life.
Life hadn’t been easy for Summer Snow. In acts of selflessness-caring for her ailing parents and running her grandmother’s bookstore-she had forfeited her youth and dreams for the needs of others. And the only tries she had at love… didn’t turn out. She had the bookstore, she had her beloved granny, but she was missing something-or someone.
Opportunity strikes when Granny sends Summer on an unexpected adventure with one Martin Langtree, a kind but gangly young man from Summer’s past. A childhood friendship is rekindled, a romance is sparked, and mysteries are solved in one magical Texas summer. Will Summer strike out on love again, or will things finally go her way?
My opinion: This book deals with a young woman living others dreams, realizing that she needs to live out her own. I really enjoyed the character of Summer, she is one who is not always sure of herself and yet blossoms as the book goes on which I enjoyed watching.  This book was a very entertaining read, filled with some great characters ( I absolutely loved her Granny, she was such a character) and I loved the sweet romance develop between the two characters. All in all a very good read! I received a copy of this book in exchange for my honest opinion.

Love Arrives in Pieces by Betsy St. Amant

Love Arrives in Pieces

For so long, Stella was known for her beauty. Now, with her heart stripped bare, she must discover who she really is.
Former pageant queen Stella Varland doesn’t trust beauty anymore after her divorce. Her appearance betrayed her and led to brokenness, so instead of being beautiful, now she tries to make beautiful things, but she always falls short. So she keeps her passion for art to herself and focuses on her interior design work. But if she doesn’t get another job soon, she’ll be stuck living with her parents.
Contractor Chase Taylor is determined to live a life of no regrets after losing his fiancĂ©e. Now he lives life at full speed, striving to see how much he can accomplish. He knows if he slows down, he’ll fall apart. So he returns home to Bayou Bend to renovate the town’s old theater and is shocked to discover that the designer for the project is his old flame, Stella.
Forced to work together, Chase and Stella battle their chemistry and past as they struggle to compromise and work together on a vision for the theater. Their wills clash as they attempt to hide their brokenness—and their unresolved feelings for each other—until Chase discovers the hidden parts of Stella, while losing her trust in the process.
A near catastrophe, a fire, and a small-town gossip mill finally force Stella and Chase to realize that they have a choice—to hold on to the shards of their pasts, or surrender their fragmented pieces to the One who makes a beautiful masterpiece from their brokenness.
My opinion: Usually I cannot stand books where  the main character is so stunningly beautiful, I find it totally unrealistic, I mean how many people really are gorgeous? That being said, I found myself enjoying this book much more than I thought possible. I was willing to give it a try in the first place because I enjoyed the previous book in the series and this one did not disappoint. I love how the author talks about how looks alone are not enough, yes, Stella is gorgeous on the outside but she realizes that is not enough in the long run. I loved the characters development and found it to be a very engaging, easy read. My only gripe is that the romance was a bit much at times, but that is a personal preference. I receive a copy of this book in exchange for my honest opinion.

Two Roads Home by Deborah Raney

Two Roads Home

What if it’s too late for dreams to come true?
Minor-but-nagging setbacks continue to sour Grant and Audrey Whitman’s initiation into the world of innkeeping, but larger challenges brew when an innocent flirtation leads to big trouble for the Whitmans’ son-in-law, Jesse. Jesse Pennington’s friendly, outgoing personality has always served him well, especially in a career that has earned him and his wife Corinne a very comfortable lifestyle. But Corinne and Jesse are both restless—and for similar reasons, if only they could share those with each other. Instead, too many business trips and trumped-up charges of harassment from a disgruntled coworker threaten their marriage and possibly put their three precious daughters at risk.
With their life in disarray, God is tugging at their hearts to pursue other dreams. Can Corinne and Jesse pick up the pieces of what was once a wonderful life before it all crumbles beneath them?
My opinion: This book is yet another wonderful book by Ms. Raney and is filled with very thought provoking elements. Dealing with issues as flirting with temptation, restlessness in marriage and what to do when setbacks come your way. I really enjoy this series as it deals with realistic occurrences and deals with things that often come up in marriages. I found the writing to be engaging and the characters to be interesting in a very flawed way, but it made the book easier to read.  I received a copy of this book in exchange for my honest opinion.

Called for life by Kent and Amber Brantly

What a wonderful book! I remember hearing about the brave missionary Doctor who chose to risk his own life helping others and contracted Ebola and I remember praying for him, so imagine my delight when I was able to read the amazing book documenting his experience fighting ebola and how he was miraculously spared.
This book offered a beautiful insight into the man who risked his life and the women who is behind him. Filled with wonderful testimonies this book is a great read and is a great reminder that our God truly is a God of miracles and that he is moving and working in lives today.
I received a copy of this book in exchange for my honest opinion.