Friday, January 25, 2013
The Widow of Saunders Creek by Tracey Bateman is an interesting read. This is Christian fiction romance, with a twist. There is a paranormal element in this book, and not just a subtle one. The premise of the book is that it is based around a young army widow (Corrie) who moves back into her dead husband's childhood home. Corrie has not reconciled her husbands death, and her unsettled emotional state is compounded with a demonic presence that has been in the house for generations. Corrie thinks that the spirit is actually her husband, and she wrestles with this throughout the story. There is, of course, a handsome, wonderful guy in the mix (her dead husband's cousin, Eli). Eli tries to direct Corrie to seek truth in the God's word regarding death and the afterlife, and in the meantime develops an attraction for Corrie. I have never read a paranormal romance, and for that, I must give credit to the uniqueness of this story. I was very unsettled by the demonic descriptions, and it was hard to feel warmth toward the characters because of that element. The story is written in first person narrative with two point of views, Corrie's and Eli's. This gives insight into what they are feeling, but once again, it is a little unsettling. I give this good ratings because it is so different and because it did a good job of scaring me. I like books that aren't predictable and just like everything out there. It is a very clean read and will keep you up at night wanting to know what happens next! I received this book from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255 :"Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising".
Friday, January 18, 2013
Daring to Choose: Gaining Momentum from your Darkest Days by Michele de Reus is a wonderful book for hurting hearts, and/also for people who want to get back on track. The author, Michele, is candid about her darkest hour in discovering infidelity and being confronted with the reality of becoming a single parent. Adding to this, her ex-husband quickly marries again, creating another set of complexities for the author. Michele is a breath of fresh air and creates hope for the reader within this book. Each chapter addresses an issue that the reader must work on in order to gain victory over their circumstances. A biblical scripture is stated, and then perfectly weaved within the premise of each chapter. Chapters include,"Choose You," "Choose Love," "Choose Grace," and many others. Each chapter shows the reader how the author handled personal situations in regard to the topic, and then she asks the reader to contemplate your story, she gives examples, she asks you to invite god in, write it down (and make a declaration). I was especially intrigued by the information regarding Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing as a tool presented that the reader can seek out to possibly help for healing. The author really does a great job of showing the reader that circumstances that may cause setbacks can be overcome in a practical way, and with the assistance of the Creator. I really liked that the author listed all scriptures, declarations, and extra tools for the reader in the back of the book. Don't pass this book up, I am very glad that I purchased it and will recommend it to people that I know could use it. I am looking forward to Ms. De Reus's next book!
Sunday, January 13, 2013
2,000 Tips and tricks to save you time and money everyday - whew! Talk about a comprehensive book! This book has 386 pages of tips on ways to save your precious time and money. There are sixteen chapters, which are then broken down into tips - with an average of six tips per page. The chapters are topics such as cleaning, food and cooking, health and beauty, laundry, pets, and many more. Mary Hunt has gathered all of these tips over the course of her endeavor to teach others through her ministry (Debt Proof Living) on simple ways to save more of your money. Some of the tips are pretty unique, such as putting basil in fresh fruit becaue it repels flies and makes it last longer (which I did not know). Some are downright over the top frugal such as suggesting a woman buy men's hair color because it is half as much as women's hair coloring products. Some tips are practical, such as how/why/when to change filters and how to effectively negotiate a car purchase. Overall, if you are looking to save money in any capacity, this book will spark your creativity and teach you how to dig deeper and analyze how you can save yourself, and your family money. Mary Hunt is very knowledgeable in her expertise of how to stretch and manage money, and this book is an extension of her research and effective ministry. You don't have to apply every tip in this book, but if you even use one quarter of these tips, you will be well on your way to being a good steward of your finances. I received this book from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255 :"Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising". Available January 2013 at your favorite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group
Desperate is a non-fiction breath of fresh air for the Christian mother. These two women each have different perspectives - one is a seasoned mother with her last just entering college, and the other is a younger mother up to her ears in childrearing. Maybe I gobbled this book up because the title spoke to me. Having two teenagers and two toddlers, I can relate to this book. (Or, I suppose I should say this book relates to me!). The authors take turns writing on each topic presented, and each author has a great statement to make that is real, and relatable. Some of the chapters include, "Formulas don't always work," (in regards to parenting a specific way)and my personal favorite, "Sacrifice in the Mundane," (on selfishness). The authors don't sugarcoat anything in this book. They don't lie to you and tell you motherhood is a waking up and crafting and cooking and holding hands with your children (every day). This book shows the reader that mothers are all tempted by our flesh, and by the world to compromise and give up, but that we must "stay fast until victory is achieved." I loved that they authors spoke many times about overcoming - overcoming weariness, selfishness, perfectionism. This book speaks to a mother's heart about conforming to Christ, and coming into alignment with godly child-rearing. I loved Sally's final encouragement to "live a story that your children and grandchildren will be speaking of for generations to come." This is a very encouraging, and real book on mothering. I am SO thankful to have the opportunity to read it. You should too! I received this book from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255 :"Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising".
Saturday, January 12, 2013
I review a lot of books, but rarely do I say that a book has hit the ball out of the park. I will say that about this book. The author has done an impeccable job at telling a story that you (the reader) will love to read. Even though romance books are fairly typical, with a protagonist, a hero, and some sort of conflict - the author has creatively weaved a story that is not predictable, not boring, and is able to touch on quite a few emotions. The characters are well developed, and the story is truly believable, not an easy feat. The main character, Bethany, has depth and her backstory is well told. The hero, Evan, is shown to have depth of emotion as well. Without revealing the story, the conflict between them is powerful and well laid out. Christianity is weaved within the story line, but it is not overwhelming nor in your face. I loved the small town and farm setting, and the intimacy of the story. The contemporary attitude of Bethany struggling against her desired life vs. her childhood roots was a very compelling and real anguish for someone to struggle with. Additionally, her friend Robin's new widowhood was raw and well written. Overall, this book is a five star read, and you will certainly be missing out if you pass it by. Please read this book, you will be so happy that you did! I received this book from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255 :"Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising".
Tuesday, January 8, 2013
Twice a Bride: A Novel is the fourth book in the Sinclair Sisters series. Since I was given this book to review without having read the other three, I can only review the book based on not having the full picture of information from the other three books. This book is a historical romance, and a very easy read. The story is fairly predictable (but aren't almost all romances this way?)and the characters are developed adequately for a light and easy read. For a full picture, it may be wise to read the other three books in this series first.The theme of this book is loss, discovery, and restoration. Some of the behaviors of the characters are quite entertaining, and this book gives the reader a nice respite from the daily cares that sometimes consume us. The main character, Willow, is likeable and relatable. The author interweaves Christianity in a easy to understand way, and uses Willow and the "hero" and the main character to show that Jesus does indeed love us, and has a plan for everyone. If you like historical romance with a Christian message, this is the perfect book for you. I received this book from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255 :"Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising".
Tuesday, January 1, 2013
This is the second book in the East Salem trilogy. Sadly, I was given this book without having read the first, which would have probably cleared up quite a few questions that I had while reading it. Sometimes in a trilogy, an author gives enough back story to give the reader an understanding of what is currently happening. The author did do this, but not to the level that I would like. This story follows a plot line of good vs. evil- with a strong supernatural element. Although there is a strong demonic element, this is not glorified. The author does a great job of causing the reader to feel tension and possibly fear, as some of the scenes did cause me to become a little ancy. If you are not bent toward reading about areas that you are not familiar with (in this book that would be the strong medical references) then you may become a little frustrated or irritated. Although other readers have suggested that it was not critical to read the first novel, I would strongly suggest that you do so. Overall the story was good, and the characters were good - but with a little bit more detail and a little less confusion this story could have been great! I enjoy Lis Wiehl as an author, and will certainly buy the next one and the first one in this series to ensure that the author is given a chance to completely round out this trilogy. If you have read the first book and liked it, then you will most likely appreciate this book and will not regret the purchase of it! I received this book from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255 :"Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising".
If you have experienced emotional and verbal abuse, this book will speak to your heart and soul. I recognized the author from when she was a newscaster in Boise, ID. I had always admired her, and was sad to see her leave Boise for Arizona. I was aware that she was married to a fellow newscaster at the station, and I thought they were a cute couple. It is so revealing to me that appearances truly are deceiving. Christi's account of abuse and her dysfunctional marriage were eye opening. This book will speak to your heart. Christi is honest, and self reflective about what transpired during the four years she was married - and why she endured the abuse for so long. She makes lists for the readers, and presents information about abuse and why a person allows it in their life in a non judgmental and reasonable way. She is a successful wife, mother, and news anchor, and her life is a testimony that even abuse can be overcome, and a person can live a full and prosperous life with the correct tools and mind-set. I really applaud Christi for being so honest with a topic that sometimes is not comfortable to talk publicly about. I read this book in a day and a half, as I could not put it down. It is well written, and well thought out. Don't pass up this book, you will be sorry!
This book was so heartfelt! The events of this story are almost unbelievable, but yet it is all true. Micah was an amazing teenager, full of God, and full of life. Then, the unthinkable. Micah was diagnosed with an aggressive cancer, one that would take his life in only three short months. This book is written by his mother, who does a wonderful job of describing Micah's life, and his battle with death. The amazing thing about this book, and what makes it unique, is that Micah shows supernatural understanding and peace regarding his situation. His mother shows the reader the amazing life and personality of this boy, and how he "finished well." I was blown away by the stories about his understanding of God and of life, even at a very young age. It is very obvious that this boy was unlike no other, and not just because his mother thought so. This book shows the reader that you can experience God in an amazing, over the top way - and have total peace and joy in the life that God has planned for you (even if it means a very short life). There are so many words to describe this story and this book - inspiring, eye opening, convicting, amazing... and I could go on. This book is not just another grieving parent recounting a life lost - this is a story of hope. This book will make you re-evaluate your own life. How you live, speak, and think will all be re-analyzed once you finish this book. Don't pass up this book. Read it, and be transformed!