Showing posts with label Christian. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Christian. Show all posts

Saturday, August 8, 2015

Signs in Life: Finding Direction in Our Travels with God by Deanna Nowadnick

Genre: Christian, Inspirational
Source: I received a copy to facilitate my review. The opinions expressed here are my own.

From Goodreads:

SIGNS IN LIFE begins with a late night encounter with law enforcement. In the harsh glare of a flashlight, author DEANNA NOWADNICK learns the consequences of speeding through a stop sign. Other incidents follow. All are linked to the divine signs she's encountered in that bigger journey through life.

Join Deanna as she shares humorous anecdotes and inspirational lessons from her travels with God. See the signs in life. She might be speeding through a stop sign--yet again!--while you're carefully navigating a busy street, but together we're all part of a bigger journey, a greater purpose. We're all part of God's great story.

My Thoughts:

What an inspirational book.  I found myself reading along thinking, Yeah, I’ve missed that sign.  Deanna’s look at her life direction through the use of signs she’s missed in her life will have anyone reading her book wondering what signs they have missed.  I found myself identifying with her situations in so many ways.  I often find myself asking God to help me, only to say to him, “here let me show you how.”  At the end of each chapter she has a set of simple questions to ask yourself.  I can guarantee you that if you read this book there is no way you will not be changed. If forces you to take a good hard look at your life  and to look at those sign we often speed through trying to do things our way.  This is a book that I think will benefit anyone and one I highly recommend.

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Believe and Know by Cathy Bryant

Genre: Christian Devotional
Source: I received a copy to facilitate my review. The opinions expressed here are my own.

Whether you are looking for a Bible study to help you guide others, or a Bible study to help you seek answers you may have, Cathy Bryant has provided that in this Bible study guide. She states that this book is for Truth-seekers and so it is.  She also speaks to the two types of people who will read this book. The first is the type who believes first and just wants confirmation and the second is those who feel a need to understand before they can believe.  Both will get out of this book what they put into it. It is my prayer that you spend time with this book and the scriptures. You may not yet know what you want out of this book. Read and pray and be assured God will open your eyes and show you what you need.

Cathy has stated as has the scriptures that unbelief keeps us from a right relationship with God.  In Mark chapter 9 verses 14-29 we read about Jesus’ disciples trying to cast the demon out of a young boy. When they could not the father was very frustrated.  He came to Jesus who witnessed the demon possession of the boy and removed the demon. The father was confused by why his disciples could not deliver his son.  It was because of their unbelief.  When Jesus told him that belief was needed the father responded that he believed and then asked the most important thing ever, “help my unbelief.”  We who are Christians are quick to say we believe, until hardships arise.  Then we are quick to criticize and accuse God of ignoring us.  Maybe the real issue is we are having difficulty believing and need to ask God to help us with our unbelief.  After all we are human.

Another thing that came out was in this quote found in the Kindle version section 15.3/82: “It is the same for our non-believing friends and loved ones. We must lay aside the holier-than-thou attitude that demands they believe like we do Instead we must love them unconditionally, pray for them persistently, and treat them with gentleness and respect (1 Peter 3:15)”.  How often do we act or talk down to non-Christians or those who have fallen away as if we are so much better and holier than they are? If you say, ‘I never have’ then you are lying to yourself.  We’ve all done this.  It is a big turn off and will push people away instead of bring them in.

I recognize this in myself when recently I learned a very good friend of mine, with whom I’d shared a strong Christian friendship, had married.  The problem for me with this was that she married another woman. I wanted to pray for her because I knew that this relationship was wrong.  I could not simply because at that point I had the attitude that I didn’t understand (and I don’t) how this could have happened to a Christian.  That wasn’t where my problem with prayer was.  What came next was an issue with pride. I assumed it happened because I was a better Christian.  Oh how God will slap us down when we become so holier-than-thou. 

Cathy also asks us to look for evidence of God’s supreme existence and more.  Cathy talked about those who don’t believe in God. She made a valid point that if she is wrong then she’s no worse off for believing is something that didn’t exist whereas, the other way around, the non-believer proven wrong is doomed to spiritual death.
I asked a very good Mormon friend who was raised Southern Baptist a question one day. She was talking with me about not believing in the rapture. She told me her parents prayed for her constantly because they felt she was wrong.  I asked her what would happen if the rapture I believe in happened and she was left behind. Her response was that she would pray that she would live long enough to repent.  I’ve heard the same thing from a Jewish friend whose daughter became a Christian. She believes we Christians have set up a very nice religion.  I asked her the same question I’d asked my Mormon friend and her response was the same.

I would encourage you to get and read this book.  Study it.  Use it to help you reach out to those who don’t know the Lord.  If you are one of my followers who don’t believe in Christ then get and read this book to prove me wrong.  This is what one of my Messianic Jewish friends did. He studied the Christian Bible to prove a friend wrong and found God in doing so.

.  I have recently added an “Inspirational” Genre to my classroom and will place a copy of this on my school shelves for those who wish to delve deeper into their beliefs. I will highly recommend this book to everyone I meet

Monday, March 2, 2015

Faith & the Parable of the Blindfold: A fun Biblical Adventure to Find, Keep, and Test your Faith through Symbolism

Genre: Christian, Inspiration
Source: I received a copy to facilitate my review. The opinions expressed here are my own.

From Goodreads:
Mystery-laced 'Wordplay,' in More Ways than One!
Thomas tip-toes out of a land controlled by Lady Luck, hoping he's unseen. And with only the gift of a map from a friend (named Christian), Thomas begins this biblical adventure to a second opinion and a new place found in the deepest yet highest of levels: Faith. Within a mystery blindfold, Thomas soon discovers his other "senses" to learn why "patience" and "patients" sound the same only in his hometown!

Join Thomas Walker and other symbolizing characters in this mystery-laced symbolic tale! Juggle 17 scriptures and a new imagination all at once inside his short journey. And you'll learn all about faith and how it works from its Story Symbolism, Fun Facts, Discussion Questions, and a bonus Family Skit version. From the better bible memory method of Christian Parables ® which "scripts your scripture without the versus of verses," enjoy!

My Thoughts:  
This was a unique way to teach about faith. It was also a unique way to get people to study and memorize scripture.  The symbolism in this book was fabulous.  The book is set up so you can click on the scripture and read it right then and there or you can read it all before or after reading the story.  I myself clicked on it as I read. Then I went back and reread the story.  This is a different way to get people into the scriptures.

Thursday, November 6, 2014

The Innkeeper of Bethlehem by Scott Roloff

Genre: Christian Fantasy
Source: I purchased

When I was a child my mom would sit us down each night for a Bible story.  This was our devotional time.  It was important to her that we learn the importance of hearing and telling the stories at a young age.  This book would be great for parents who want to continue sharing stories nightly with their children.  This is a wonderful way to bring Santa Claus into the Christmas story. 

The story starts off with a visit from an aunt, uncle and cousin from Jerusalem to their relatives in the United States.  The kids, Kallie and Pinkie, love to hear their Uncle Aaron tell stories and beg him for one.  He tells them that the story he is going to tell them started in Bethlehem. Instead of the usual story of Mary, Joseph and Baby Jesus, he tells the story from the perspective of the Innkeepers Shai and Adi.  They rent out every available space in the inn, and are forced to sleep in the stable.  Adi was not happy about this.  Then along come Mary and Joseph.  Mary gives birth to baby Jesus.  It is shortly after this the story takes a turn.  When Mary and Joseph flee from Herod, Shai and Adi travel with them.

Uncle Aaron knows just when to stop a story to keep the audience hanging.  That is what he does.  He tells them just a little bit each day up to Christmas.  That is what is unique about this book.  This book is set up so that you can read it in one sitting, like I did, or you can read a chapter a night.  I think that this would be the best way to do this with little kids. 

Where does Santa fit into all of this?  I really think you need to read the book to find out.  For those who want a Christian story with no deviation then this might not be the book for you.  For those of you who want a book that tells the story of Jesus from birth to death and yet brings in the secular part of Christmas, then this is definitely the book for you.  Just remember it is not all fact.  That is not what the author set out to do.  It is a lot easier to show Santa’s beginnings this way than to fill your child’s mind with the rosy cheeked Santa they see on all of the  TV programs then tell them one day.  Oh I figured you would be old enough to understand there is no such thing as Santa.  At least this book tells the story of Santa’s beginnings as if it is a tale being told to children.  I loved it.  I can’t wait to share it with my grand kids this year.  I am purchasing a copy for my daughter to read to them.  I’d like for her to start that tradition each year.

About the Author

Scott Roloff is the author of the Christmas book The Innkeeper of Bethlehem-The Story of Santa Claus, the novel Dreams at Dusk and Short Stories for the Hopeful and the Weary. He is a lawyer and a CPA, having received his accounting degree from the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater, his MBA from the University of Texas at Arlington, and his law degree from Southern Methodist University. Scott lives in Texas with his wife, Lynne.

Monday, September 1, 2014

A Path Toward Home by Heather R. Lorenz

Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy, Christian
Source:  I received a copy from the author to help facilitate my review. The opinions expressed here are my own.

From Goodreads:
As a little girl growing up in post-World War II America, Constance loved her mother's vivid bedtime stories of a motherless prince. When Constance was six, that life ended; she spent the rest of her childhood with her uncle and aunt in Canada.
At 17, bored and lonely after her best friend moved away, Constance smacks her head, wakes up in the country of Avonea, meets the prince of her mother’s childhood stories, and discovers that her mother had made the same mystical journey. Is this world of fantasy and magic real or just a dream?
Dream or real,Constance just wants to go home because she knows her uncle will be frantic with worry for her. Prince Drinian and his advisor Woodphere agree to help her, and Constance finds herself living an adventure story as the three journey through dangerous country peopled with enemies of the future king.

A Path Toward Home is the first book in The Annals of Avonea, an adventure series inspired by The Chronicles of Narnia and written by high school student Heather Lorenz.  “… the plot of this book is very exciting, with twists and turns that keep you reading. The ending was unexpected and satisfying. I really enjoyed it and I would recommend it to anyone!” says one reviewer. Suitable as an ebook for juveniles and adults from new to golden, this modern classic will appeal to fans of adventure, mystery, romance, time travel, science fiction, fantasy, and faith-based fiction.

My Thoughts:
To say I loved this book is an understatement.  I am impressed with the ability this young writer has to create two worlds that are so realistic. Her ability to pull the reader into the life of Constance, who has faced such hardship is truly an art.  From the minute I began to read about the hardships Constance had to face and her reaction to them I knew I was hooked.  This is not one of those books where you are lead to believe that the main character has bad things happen and then breaks into song singing "the sun will come out tomorrow." I could feel her pain and anguish with each new trial thrown her way.  I loved the way Constance and Prince Drinian butted heads from the very beginning.  I was rooting for them all the way through, hoping there would be a relationship.  I felt so bad for Woodphere knowing how he had felt for Constance's mother. 

When Constance tries to make friends with a young girl who in in love with the Prince and finds a jealous girl instead she is heartbroken.  She feels she has to do something to make things right and learns that sometimes things are out of your hands.  I think the thing I enjoyed the most was the way God was woven into the plot. This is not an in your face, preach at you type of book.  You are subtly shown their faith.  It comes through in the way Prince Drinian tries to help his people and even his enemies. I loved the story of how they received the first Bible on their planet.  That was something else that was different from most time travel books.  The character is not transported back in time so much, but to another planet.  I agree with the blurb that at times I felt like the story had a Chronicles of Narnia feel.  To me this young lady has great talent and definitely understood the writing style of C.S. Lewis. However, I honestly loved this one more and that is saying a lot since I am such a fan of the Chronicles of Narnia.  This is only the first book so I am hoping she writes quickly, since this one just came out August 2.  I will be waiting enthusiastically for the second book.  I need to know if Constance and Prince Drinian will meet again.

About the Author:
Heather Lorenz is the author of A Path Toward Home, the first book in The Annals of Avonea series. She is the third of three daughters, and is currently a high school student living in rural Ohio with her parents and her favorite cat, Chuzzy. Heather loves reading, traveling and making new friends.

Thursday, May 22, 2014

A BRIDGE UNBROKEN Book Tour & Launch Party

Welcome to the BlitzKat blog tour for Cathy Bryant’s A Bridge Unbroken. Another Miller’s Creek Novel set in the heart of Texas, A Bridge Unbroken brings two new characters to the forefront while still giving fans a glimpse of their favorite characters from the past, including the old geezers and Mama Beth.



Letting go to build a bridge…

Dakota Kelly wants her painful past to disappear. A plan to start afresh is derailed when she co-inherits her late grandfather’s farm with the man responsible for the scars on her heart. But Chance Johnson isn’t the only ghost from the past. Someone else is out to get her and will stop at nothing to get what he wants. Will Chance and Dakota lay aside their grudges to restore the old farmhouse and bridge, or will evil forces sabotage their attempt at forgiveness?

Click HERE to read a sample chapter of A Bridge Unbroken.

The Other Miller’s Creek Novels

“Miller’s Creek, Texas…where folks are friendly, the iced tea is sweet, and Mama Beth’s front porch beckons…”


My Thoughts

This is the fifth book in the Miller Creek Series.  I have enjoyed each one for several reasons.  Overall the message that she carries throughout reaches out and touches you where you are.  This book carries a theme of Forgiveness.  The romances her books have are not the mushy gushy type that I can’t stand. There is  always enough suspense to balance out the romance throughout the entire book.   The message of forgiveness is strong and reaches out to remind us that forgiveness is necessary, but not easy. You must forgive if you are to move forward in life.  We are told we must forgive others.  You can read in Matthew that if we don't forgive others our heavenly Father won't forgive us. Forgiveness doesn’t mean you forget, or you get over the pain the minute you forgive.  I have experience with this one first hand.  The pain can last for years.  But, once you forgive that person and you pray asking God to help you with the pain, it gets easier.  God has definitely given Cathy the ability to write books that reach out and touch your soul.  He has also given her some powerful themes for her books. Sometimes it is a book just like this that is what God uses to speak to, or create a healing in someone.  I definitely recommend this book to anyone who loves romances with suspense that speaks to you.  If you haven't read any of Cathy's books I would suggest you do so. You have several to choose from. 

Author Interview

Tell us about yourself.
I’m a Christ-follower, wife, mom, Nana, daughter, musician, teacher, and writer. I enjoy just about anything outdoors, including hiking, canoeing, camping, and gardening. I also enjoy creative activities—home improvement projects, scrap-booking, painting, composing, and of course, writing. I love watching movies and reading books, though since becoming a writer, I can’t stop analyzing what I’m watching and reading. I’m a big reality TV fan, my favorites being Survivor and The Amazing Race–both great material for analyzing human behavior for my books!
Where do you write?
Our mountain cabin has an upstairs sleeping loft. It’s one large open room with the best view in the entire house. My writing desk is there, but I force myself to write in a corner facing a wall to keep myself from being distracted. (It works most of the time…)
What are you writing now?
I’m finishing up A Bridge Unbroken, the fifth book in the popular Miller’s Creek Novels. I had hoped  Future writing plans include a series of Bible studies and more Miller’s Creek Novels.
What inspired you to write A Bridge Unbroken? All of the Miller’s Creek Novels feature a spiritual theme that is relevant to me for different seasons in my life. In Texas Roads it was Christ being our home rather than placing our security in a place or building. A Path Less Traveled was about finding enough faith to follow God even when it doesn’t seem to make sense. (Boy, has He used that lesson in my life, and proven His faithfulness through it all!) The Way of Grace was my spiritual journey of learning how perfectionist tendencies can be a real hindrance to spiritual progress. The spiritual theme of Pilgrimage of Promise followed right along with my hubby and I stepping out in faith in a bad economy and high unemployment rates to do what we sensed God telling us to do, and the resulting joy and peace spurred on by the Lord’s faithfulness.
What do you want readers to take away from this book in particular? In my very humble opinion, forgiveness is one of the least understood tenets of our faith, yet central to the gospel we proclaim. I hope readers come away from the story with a fresh understanding of the gift of forgiveness, what it is and what it isn’t. (As an example: Forgiveness is unconditional. Forgiveness doesn’t mean excusing the offender’s behavior.)
Tell us how you come up with characters. The characters actually introduce themselves to me. (I know, I know, they’re not real. I promise I’m not certifiable…) After they make their appearance, I fill out extensive character charts, including taking online personality tests for them! (Hmm, maybe I am certifiable…) But no matter how much preparation I put into the characters in the pre-writing process, they always reveal another facet of their personality during the actual writing of the book.
Of all the characters you’ve created, which is your favorite and why?
Without a doubt the answer would have to be Mama Beth, the wise woman in all the Miller’s Creek novels and the main character in the fourth book of the series, Pilgrimage of Promise. She is everything I want to be when I grow up—wise, kind, and loving. Just so you know, I’m not alone in choosing her as the favorite character. When I asked this question to the Miller’s Creek Reader’s Group on Facebook, the majority’s answer was Mama Beth.
What do you hope to accomplish through your writing? I want my writing to honor and glorify God. If only one person is touched and moved closer to God as a result of my writing, then the hours of hard labor (and numb backside!) are worth it. One early reader of Texas Roads (the first book in the series) told me the story brought healing to her life. I can think of no higher compliment.


About Cathy

A native daughter of the Lone Star State, Cathy loves spinning tales about life in small town Texas. When she’s not weaving stories about the fine folks in Miller’s Creek, you’ll find her rummaging through thrift stores, feeding her reality TV addiction, or up to her elbows in yet another home improvement project in the mountain cabin she shares with her minister husband of over thirty years. You can find out more about Cathy and her books at

Here are a few other places to meet up with Cathy in cyberspace:

Reader friends on Facebook may want to visit the following groups, the first for book bargains and the second to discuss all things Miller’s Creek.


About the Blog Tour and Launch Party

Cathy is celebrating the new addition to the Miller’s Creek family by having an  interactive Facebook Launch Party on May 22, 2014.  Come join A Bridge Unbroken Facebook launch party on May 22.

Don’t miss the fun! See you at the party!

Ebook Giveaway!!!
The author has graciously offered an ebook to one of my readers. 
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Friday, January 24, 2014

Unclouded Day by William Woodall

Source:  I received a copy for review
Genre:  Young Adult, Fantasy

From Goodreads:
Brian's life is a hard one. Abandoned by his father, abused by his alcoholic mother, and mocked by his classmates, his only treasures are his beloved little brother and his old guitar.
Then Brian finds a magical amulet in his attic, and things begin to change. Soon he has more power and wealth than he's ever dreamed of, and for a while all seems to be well. 
But Brian has made a terrible mistake which may cost him everything, and his only hope is to seek out the Fountain at the Heart of the World, wherever that may be.
A beautiful tale of what it means to have faith even when God seems to be asking the impossible.

My Thoughts:
This was another one of those books that once I started it I sat up until I finished it.  I was so engaged I thought I had read a short story.  The time flew by so quickly.  I felt so sorry for Brian and his younger brother.  The story starts off with such heartbreak when we learn what type of mother they have.  She is the type of person you really want to hate.  You don’t hear much about the father until later on. This story, although fantasy has so much to teach us.  When Brian finds the amulet he kind of lets the power go to his head.  I have been a fan of the TV show “Once Upon A Time”.  Mr. Gold aka Rumplestiltskin has a saying every time someone comes to him for magic.  He reminds them that they need to remember that “magic comes with a price”.  It seems that Brian never thought about the price of using the amulet until it was almost too late.  What I didn’t understand was why his mom waited so long to let him know she knew he had it.  It added another layer of hardness and uncaring to her character.  This story has a redemptive side.  This is an allegorical novel.  It can be read by young and old, Christian and Non-Christian and be enjoyed by all.  I read this as an e-book.  This is a book I most definitely want to get for my classroom.  I even know which student is going to get to check it out first.  This is definitely an author that needs to be recommended more often.  I look forward to reading and reviewing another of his books I have called “Tycho”.  Go ahead and check him out.

You can find his website here.

Friday, August 9, 2013

The Chest of Visions: Secrets of Caperston – Tim Ferguson

Publisher: Xulon Press
Pages: 126
Genre: Christian, Fantasy
Source: Review copy in exchange for my honest review.

From Amazon:
What secrets of Caperston does the Chest of Visions hold? What hope is offered? Secrets that are more than mysteries; they are lessons in life! • What if Jesus did not come to Earth 2,000 years ago but arrived today? How would we react? • How do Christian youth react to adversity, for example, the death of a friend? • Is saying "yes' to the Word of God, an effective definition of faith? Questions like these are answered in "The Chest of Visions, a story of a world similar, yet clearly different, to our own. The story begins fourteen million years ago when a gravity-defying force appeared and several identical universes were formed. Just as human twins mature differently so did these universes. For our story we consider two: our universe and a universe of a youth named Mattpaul. These two worlds evolved simultaneously and each is more advanced in certain ways. However, one thing is clear. Mattpaul's world of Caperston was the more orderly until emerging ideas began to challenge age old traditions. Come visit Mattpaul's world. Meet his teenage friends and their teacher, Chihaysu, in a story of faith, hope, courage and intrigue.

My Thoughts:
I think every youth group should read this book.  This makes us take a look at why bad things like death happen.  It makes us look deeply at our own faith.  Have we pulled away from God?  Are we doing enough to reach others for the Lord?  This book is the one you need to read with your teen to open those conversations.  One thing I kept thinking about when we looked at the world where they had no religion was how many nations in our own world have never heard of our God.  How do they react when we introduce them to him.  I am surprised each year when I give my autobiography to my students and I discuss my religious beliefs, the number of students who have never seen and some of them never heard of the Bible or Jesus.  This is a book that I have on my shelves at school.  It has wonderful pictures in it which will reach that kid who really enjoys the more graphic type novel.  It is a way to plant the seeds of Christianity. I definitely recommend this book to all grandparents, parents, teens and youth groups.

About the Author (from Amazon)

Tim Ferguson has been working with Christian youth since 1969. For the past eighteen years he and his wife, Linda, have led a Junior/Senior High youth program in New York. Tim is the creator of the website, through which he met the illustrator, Jose Carlos Gutierrez of Mexico City. He encourages the reader to use the lessons in Appendix Two to teach young people the outcome of applying the gospel message to one's life. Tim has worked for the Department of Social Services for 38 years, primarily in Children's Services. He is currently the Director of Adult Protective Services.

Saturday, July 28, 2012

America at the Tipping Point - Gary Frazier

Pages:  232
Source:  Borrowed from my mother
Genre:  Christian

"Books abound on the dilemma's facing America. We recognize America is in trouble. However, America at the Tipping Point is a fresh and bold word not only about the economic and political issues but also about the moral choices that have led us to the brink. How did we get here and what can we what Gary Frazier has to say and you will see " Tim LaHaye, Co-author of the Left Behind series "What a sobering reading experience. Dr. Frazier will rock your world and challenge you to make some changes in your world view." Pat Williams, Senior Vice President, Orlando Magic, Author, Extreme Dreams Depend on Team "Gary Frazier writes with passion and conviction and motivates like few people I know to live with a sense of urgency in these turbulent times. Read this book because you will be filled with hope and faith to make a difference in the world." Dr. Jack Graham, Sr. Pastor, Prestonwood Baptist Church "I have long respected Dr. Gary Frazier's prophetic voice, but his new training book, America at the Tipping Point, captured my attention as a patriot. In a day of white noise rants against our beloved country, many have prematurely trumpeted taps. Dr. Frazier has stepped up to sound reveille and lead us to action." Dr. Jay Strack, President, Student Leadership University Gary Frazier is a respected and recognized speaker and writer on the subject of Bible prophecy and current events. He is a former pastor and has traveled to Israel more than 100 times since 1971. Gary is founder and President of Discovery Ministries located in the Dallas Ft. Worth metro area. Gary holds both a M.A. and a Ph.D. from Louisiana Baptist University and was honored with a Doctor of Humanities degree from Liberty University. He has appeared on numerous television programs as well as speaking on radio nationwide. Gary and his wife Sandra reside in Arlington, Texas.

My Thoughts:
My mother asked me to read the book before she shipped it to my sister.  I sat and couldn't put it down.  This book looks at the moral decline America is unfortunately in and shows us how it is getting worse and going to continue to do so if we as Christians don't do something to stop it.  This nations was founded on Christian principles and we need to stand up for those principles.  Unfortunately as a teacher in the public school system I see the moral decline.  We teach tolerance and multiculturalism beyond what was originally meant.  We step on the rights of many for the few.  

Gary has done an excellent job of backing up what he says with the Bible and other resources.  He goes to great lengths to give a list of those resources at the back for further investigation.  One of the toughest  areas of his book was the section on abortion.  I can definitely see the parallels of desensitizing our nation to abortion and euthenasia with what Hitler and many others have done.  We give it a different name and put a little make up on it and pass it off as something less harmful.    I think every teen should be forced to read, along with their parents the section in the back on abortions.  If we did so we would maybe have less abortions.

This is definitely an eye opener and one I am glad my mother asked me to read.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Submerged - Dani Pettrey

Publisher:  Bethany House
Pages:  320
Source:  Received a review copy from publisher
Genre: Christian, Romance, Suspense

From the Publisher:

A sabotaged plane.  Two dead deep-water divers. One single clue.

Bailey Craig vowed never to set foot in Yancey, Alaska, again.  She has a past, and a reputation—and Yancey’s a town that doesn’t forget.  She’s returned only to bury a loved one killed in the plane crash, but then dark evidence emerges and Bailey’s own expertise becomes invaluable for the case.

Cole McKenna can face dangerous rescue dives.  He can face the fear a murderer may be threatening his town.  But facing the reality of Bailey’s reappearance is a tougher challenge.  She broke his heart…but doesn’t seem to be the same girl who left Yancey ten years ago.  And he’s not the same guy she left behind.

Racing against the clock and a rising body count, Bailey and Cole must move beyond the hurts of their pasts to work together until the truth of what is hidden in the depths finally surfaces.

My Thoughts:
This sucked me in right from the beginning.  We get a good look at how things we do in our teens can scar us.  It doesn’t matter if we come to the Lord and he takes away our sins, we have a tendency to hold on to things because we thing we don’t deserve forgiveness.  This  is how Bailey feels.  When she has to return to the home of her teen years she believes EVERYONE will remember her the way she was and not see her for the person she has become.  I loved how Cole could see the difference and instead of pushing Bailey to recognize and accept the change in herself he prayed that God would open her eyes. 

The suspense was awesome.  I know this is only the first book in the series.  I can’t wait to find out more about Landon and Jake, and the mysterious missing brother Reef.  We were left with just a small look at their character.  There is so much more to be learned.  If you are looking for a book that will hold you on the edge of your seat from beginning to end, this is it.  If you are looking for a book that has a Godly message but doesn’t preach at you, then this is definitely the book for you.  You will fall in love with Piper who is  one of the kindest, most loving people.  She would do anything for you.  Cole is the very protective brother who runs the business with his siblings. Gage is the bottomless pit who always has Coles back as long as he is well fed. Kayden comes off as tough.  It is almost as if she THINKS she must prove herself to be equal in a man’s world. 
Landon the cop, and Jake the mysterious man who drifted into Yancey and works for Cole leave us wanting to know more of their life.

I must mention one other thing about this book.  I would never have thought I would become interested in Russian History.  This book not only teaches you a lot of Russian History, but if you are like me, you feel you must do more reading on the subject.  I love books that make me want to learn more.  I will definitely recommend this author and look forward to reading more of her books.  Shattered, the second book in her series should be out in February of 2013.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Implosion – Joel Rosenberg

Publisher:  Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.
Pages:  400
Source: I received a free copy of this book for review from Tyndale House Publishers.
Genre:  Christian Living

From Goodreads:
Bestselling author and international political expert Joel C. Rosenberg tackles the question: Is America an empire in decline or a nation poised for a historic Renaissance?America teeters on a precipice. In the midst of financial turmoil, political uncertainty, declining morality, the constant threat of natural disasters, and myriad other daunting challenges, many wonder what the future holds for this once-great nation. Will history's greatest democracy stage a miraculous comeback, returning to the forefront of the world's economic and spiritual stage? Can America's religious past be repeated today with a third Great Awakening? Or will the rise of China, Russia, and other nations, coupled with the US's internal struggles, send her into a decline from which there can be no return? "Implosion" helps readers understand the economic, social, and spiritual challenges facing the United States in the 21st century, through the lens of biblical prophecy
audience, I tend to think that he's right.

My thoughts:

Joel Rosenberg takes a look at current events with a Biblical eye.  He shows us that no matter how dismal the outlook, there is always reason for hope.  He has taken current events and put them into perspective through a prophetic end-times view.  He has four chapters in his book just devoted to what way we may implode as a nation; war/terror, financial ruin, natural disasters, and finally the rapture.  He showed that spirituality is on a roller-coaster.  When things are bad people turn to God and pray and then when things start to get better we kind of shove God to the side.  An example he gave of this in the book was the way the nation turned to God after the events of 9/11.  Just a couple of months later it was like, okay back to the norm.  We read and know the end-time prophecies but seem to sit back and take the attitude that we can’t do anything about it.  I believe God will continue to use us until HE is done with us.  We need to turn back to Christ and cling to him with all we have.  It is just my opinion that everyone should read this book.  It gives us a great look at where we are headed if we don’t wake up.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

A Perfect Square - Vannetta Chapman

Publisher:  Zondervan
Pages:  352
Source:  Won a copy from author
Genre:    Amish, Romance, Mystery, Christian

From Goodreads:
There's more to the quaint northern Indiana town of Shipshewana than Amish-made furniture, immaculate farms, and close-knit families. When a dead girl is found floating in a local pond, murder is also afoot. And Reuben Fisher is in jail as the suspect. Reuben refuses to divulge any information, even to clear himself of a crime Deborah is certain he didn't commit.

My Thoughts:
I love a murder mystery, especially if it has been taken up a notch by placing it in an Amish setting.  Callie and her friends are once again trying to solve a mystery.  Reuben has been locked up in jail as a suspect in the death of an Amish girl.  No one in the community believes Reuben could or would have done such a thing.  While Callie has her hands full with one mystery, an old Amish gentleman comes to her seeking her help.  His daughter had disappeared during the 1965 Palm Sunday tornadoes.  I remember those tornadoes and the feel of our house being lifted off of its foundation.  Now Callie must try to make the connection between the two mysteries to solve them.

I love reading books by Vannetta Chapman.  It is a great blend of Amish and English, Romance and Mystery.  The Christian aspects are not preachy.  I can’t wait until the third book in this series, Material Witness, comes out this fall.  If you want to see what Vannetta is up to go to her Facebook page.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

First Sunday - Donald and Aura Elton

Publisher:  CreateSpace
Pages:  256
Source:  Review copy from publisher in exchange for review.
Genre:  Religion

The whole week after 9/11 we walked around in shock.  We rode the roller coaster of emotions.  Anger was an extremely hard one to deal with.  Through this book, a collection of sermons from different pastors from different denominations we discover that it is okay to be angry.  It is not okay to sin in our anger.  The pastors struggled just as we did with what to say and how to react.  Yet , on that first Sunday after the attacks they gave us a reason to push forward.  They let us know ad feel like we were not the only ones feeling this way.  They let us know it was okay to feel the emotions we were feeling.  This is an inspiring book that reminds us that we find our strength in God.  This is an uplifting book that needs to be read by everyone.

The book is available at

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Day Two of Catch Up Reviews

Last Night I was looking for an empty sheet of paper to write notes on.  I pulled out a notebook I had not used at home or school for at least a month and a half.  I worked my way back toward a blank sheet and suddenly found some reviews I had previously written. I went to my blog to see if I had already posted them and lo and behold I had not.  My husband stood in the doorway to my office chuckling.  He thought it was funny that I had misplaced eight book reviews.  I kept thinking I was losing my mind.  I knew I had read the books but couldn't find the book reviews.  This is what happens when you have so many different notebooks for different purposes.  You know, one for each of your WIPs, one for school, one for reviews.  Then when that student who has no paper comes up and asks for some, you grab the first notebook you can get your hands on and then forget what you had done.  So today we will start off with four of the eight reviews I had written.  I know the authors will be happy.  They must have thought I had forgotten them.  I am trying to get things caught up and organized so that I can start the new year fresh.

Tithing and How to Get There - Paul Stephensen
Pages:  66
Source:  Review copy from author in exchange for review
Genre:  Religion, Financial Planning

This was very appropriate for this time of year.  I know God allows things to happen for a reason.  We look at Christmas as a time for giving.  We give to others all the time but, how often and how much do we give to God.  In this book the author takes us on a short course of tithing.  He started off defining stewardship and giving examples.  God promises to bless us.  There are examples all throughout the Bible of God doing just this.    The author points out that tithing is a privilege and that it is a symbol of total service to the Lord.  It show our willingness to serve him wholly.  For me Chapter 6 was the most important in the entire book.  It was full of budgets, and worksheets and all the things I truly need to get myself back on track.   I have no credit cards.  My philosophy has always been if I didn't have the cash then I didn't need it.  Unfortunately this book made me look at my spending habits.  When I got paid the first thing I would do is buy books.  It didn't matter that I had 300 unread books on my shelf, I always bought more.  I would buy 2-4 books a month.  That may not seem like much but when you have nothing to start with and you are spending what you don't have it adds up.  This is a book I will definitely recommend to friends.  It is a book that Christian and Non-Christian alike can benefit from.  I am thankful the author sent me a copy for review, even if I did lose the review.

Flashes From the Other World – Julie Ann Weinstein
Publisher:  All Things That Matter Press
Pages:  160
Source:  Received a copy for review
Genre:  Short Stories

Product Description:
Magic without the hocus pocus, these stories explore the ethereal blur between reality and not, between dream and sleep, between love and 'other than' love. They present relationships with a tender wackiness. Tossed into the mix are mischievous ghosts, who give the talking plants and even the seductive and vocal grains of sand a run for their money. Quirky and offbeat, these stories will touch your heart, although they may tug at your funny bone first.
About the Author
Julie Ann Weinstein has published over ninety short stories and is a Pushcart Nominee. She is an editorial consultant and a flash fiction workshop leader in the Southern California area. Julie is also published under the name Julie Ann Shapiro. She currently lives in Encinitas, California, where she is working on future short story collections.

My Thoughts:
This is metaphorical writing at its best. The author has divided her book into three parts.  Part one is a collection of paranormal stories.  The are very short and bizarre.  Not bizarre in a bad way.  Bizarre in the sense they make you think.  They have a depth to them that makes you wonder if there is a deeper meaning, a hidden meaning.
The second part of the book is called relationships.  The first story grabbed me and made me hold on.  Maybe it is because my mom has to live with me now that I could see parallels between the relationship the daughter had with her mother and my own.  It takes great talent to write from the heart and attain such a deep meaning that will be read and interpreted differently by each reader.
The third part of the book is called Surreal.  I enjoyed “Blue Moon Carbs”.  This is a book where the reader is free and encouraged to make all kinds of connections.  As I try to lose weight this one story stood out.  It felt like I was reading the battle that goes on in my head every time I eat something that could potentially cause me to gain weight.  I loved it.  My favorite part of this book was actually in the back where the author explains what inspired her to write each of her stories.  Her explanations made me go back and re-read some of the stories as I looked at them through the eyes of what inspired her.  It put a truly different spin on it.  This is not an easy book to describe.  I will recommend it.  Just don’t pick it up for a quick read because that is the one thing it is not.

Justifiable Oregon – Pamela Wright

Publisher:  Reaction Press
Pages:  296
Source: Review copy from publisher
Genre:  Adult Thriller

Have you ever wished something bad would happen to someone evil because God and the law took too long? There are those that risk it all for the rest of us. This novel is about those few and the risks they take on our behalf, and the bystanders that unwittingly get caught in the fray. Duplicity, is the exquisite yacht manned by such men. Men intent on luring the world’s wealthiest human traffickers out of their million’s and into their final moments on earth inside Tillamook Rock Lighthouse.

My Thoughts
After reading the first few chapters  the “Dexter” series came to mind.  In case you don’t remember it, or you’ve never seen it, Dexter was a cop who worked in the police lab.  His specialty was blood.  At night he hunted down and killed those who managed to get off for some technicality, and justice was served.
Often we hear cases of criminals getting off scott free.  What if there was a force that took care of those criminals that were put back on the street?  In Justifiable Oregon that is just what happens.  There is a group of people who take those very criminals out to the Tilamook Rock Lighthouse  in Seaside Oregon.  There the criminal arrives drugged up.  As they come to they are tortured and then their bodies are cremated.  Who are these criminals?  They are members of a drug cartel, and those who traffic in humans.  Want to know more?  Read the book.  Be forewarned that this is not a book you can start and stop at will.  This is a book that demands to be read from beginning to end.

Fury – Elizabeth Miles

Publisher:  Simon Pulse
Pages:  384
Source:  Received a review copy from publisher
Genre:  Young Adult, Paranormal

From Goodreads:
Sometimes sorry isn't enough....
It’s winter break in Ascension, Maine. The snow is falling and everything looks pristine and peaceful. But not all is as it seems...

Between cozy traditions and parties with her friends, Emily loves the holidays. And this year’s even better--the guy she’s been into for months is finally noticing her. But Em knows if she starts things with him, there’s no turning back. Because his girlfriend is Em’s best friend.

On the other side of town, Chase is having problems of his own. The stress of his home life is starting to take its toll, and his social life is unraveling. But that’s nothing compared to what’s really haunting him. Chase has done something cruel...something the perfect guy he pretends to be would never do. And it’s only a matter of time before he’s exposed.

In Ascension, mistakes can be deadly. And three girls—three beautiful, mysterious girls—are here to choose who will pay.

My Thoughts:
The setting of this book sets the over all tone or mood.  It is freezing cold, and snowy.  That is exactly how this story leaves you feeling, cold and empty inside.  You have Emily who is best friends with Gabby.  But what kind of friend flirts with your boyfriend?  Emily does.  She is sure that she and Zach are made for each other.  First reason to hate a character in this book.  Emily is selfish and so full of herself.  Then we have Chase who is not financially in the same league as the rest of his friends.  He tries to make up for his past by becoming something he really isn’t.  He tramples on people to get where he wants to be.  To make Emily and Chase pay for what they have done to others the three furies Ty, Meg and Ali pay a visit.  Ty is so hot that she has Chase fawning all over her.   Can you say revenge.  The job of the furies is to seek revenge for those who they feel need it against those they deserve it.  This  whole book has a creepy movie feel to it.  I could actually see it come out on the big screen.  Although the characters so so many wrong things and justify it to make you hate them they are so wonderfully developed you can’t help love them.  This is the first book in this series and it will definitely not be the last one I read.  The ending definitely leaves you hanging for more.  Definitely one to recommend to all of your friends who like creepy, paranormal, mythical type things.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

The Rise and Fall of the Antichrist - Charles Massegee

Publisher:  Outskirts press, Inc.
Pages:  452
Source:  I received a copy from the author in exchange for a review
Genre:  Religion

From Goodreads:
Discover the Bible-Based Truth about
the End Times You Can’t Afford to Ignore

These days, more people than ever are looking to the Book of Revelation for answers. The only book of the Bible that Jesus personally signed as author, the Book of Revelation holds the key to understanding our future. But its complex and multilayered meanings are often misunderstood. Now, author and Bible expert Charles Massegee unlocks the secrets of Revelation to expose the life-changing messages you need to know. You’ll learn:

•The 7 secrets to understanding the Book of Revelation
•The most important symbols and definitions that will change everything you thought you knew about the Bible
•Which prophecies in the Book of Revelation have already come true – and what it means for the future
•Why we are now living in the so-called “end times”
•What to expect during the last days and why the coming of Christ is something to celebrate – not fear
•The evidence showing Islam’s connection to the antichrist and the last days
•Much, much more

Appropriate for a Christian scholar or newcomer to Jesus, this accessible book is based on solid scriptural evidence and analysis and skilled insight into today’s news and culture.
My mother has a habit of checking out the books I get in, and removing from my desk any she wants to read.  Often I don’t realize it until I get ready to read it.  This was one of those books.  She kept it hid in her room until she was finished with it. 

My Mother’s Thoughts:
The Rise and Fall of the Antichrist is one of those books that can’t be read in a single sitting.  I  especially enjoyed the fact that everything was backed up with scripture.  A lot of research has  gone into this book.  I agree that we are living n the last days.  Once my daughter has written her review and gives the book back to me I will recommend it to all of my friends and my pastor.  This is a must read for all Christians and those searching.

My Thoughts:
One of my favorite parts of this whole book was something that has puzzled me and fascinated me from the day I first heard it mentioned.    Hi section on what the number 666 means is very clear to me now.  I’d never thought of the 3 sixes as standing for the unholy trinity.  I also liked the explanation that seven is the number of completeness and Satan and the antichrist will never come near that so the number 6 is their number.

My mom was right.  This is definitely one of those books that you must read and study.  I have been fascinated with Revelations since my early years of sitting in church.  I didn’t always understand what was going on, so I sat and read Revelations.  I am a visual person so the pictures I painted in my head were often very literal and confusing.  This book has done what all of my years of study have not been able to do,  explain in a manner I understand, the End Times.

About the author:
Dr. Charles Massegee comes from a long line of God's messengers. At eighteen he was
licensed for the ministry at the Second Baptist Church in Ranger, Texas. A year later he
was ordained at the New Hope Baptist Church in Ranger and was the first pastor of the
East Side Baptist Church in Ranger while a freshman in college. He is a graduate of
Hardin Simmons University in Abilene, Texas, and has furthered his education at the
Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth, Texas. He leads in over thirty
revivals, crusades and Revelation Bible conferences a year throughout the U.S. 
More information about his ministry is available at